University suspends students over banned memorial

A top Hong Kong university has suspended two student leaders for a semester for organising a memorial event on campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic and refusing to remove protest-related materials from notice boards, writes Chan Ho-him for the South China Morning Post.

The president and vice-president of the University of Science and Technology’s (HKUST) Students’ Union were also warned they could be expelled if any further violations occurred. The university said the union’s May memorial event – which marked the six-month anniversary of HKUST student Alex Chow Tsz-lok falling to his death in a car park near the site of a protest – posed public health concerns and violated management’s instruction to not hold the event.

Four other student union members were handed reprimand letters, barred from using campus sports and amenities facilities for one term, and ordered to serve 75 hours of university community service over the incidents. Those additional penalties also applied to the two suspended. Suspended Union President Donald Mak Ka-chun, a third-year student, told the Post that while he and the other union members were already challenging the decision, the chances of success were slim. “I believe the university is penalising us to set an example for others and to suppress [students’ activities], and this could also have an impact on the future practices of our successors,” he said.
Full report on the South China Morning Post site