11 Nov 2020

CUHK Statement on Unauthorised Exhibits on Campus

11 Nov 2020

The Student Union of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and several college student unions held an exhibition on campus today (11 November). Some exhibits were displayed near the entrance at the University Station and the shuttle bus station, which violated the University’s regulations as the location is not designated for exhibition. In days before the exhibition, the University staff had repeatedly communicated with the event organisers reiterating that all activities and exhibitions on campus must comply with the University’s established rules and regulations, and that the University does not tolerate any activities that are illegal or may damage its reputation. Despite having been informed of the risks and potential negative impact to the University community of holding such an exhibition, the event organisers insisted on displaying the exhibits at an unauthorised location, ignoring repeated persuasion by the security staff. The University will take appropriate action as soon as possible to remove all exhibits that are displayed in violation of the University’s regulations, and will deal with those involved in accordance with established disciplinary procedures.

In addition, a number of campus facilities were spray-painted with phrases and markings at various locations, and banners were hung at several unauthorised places, potentially compromising the safety of passers-by. These disturbing acts of destroying public property and disregarding the safety of others and related acts may be in criminal violation of relevant laws. The University deeply deplores and condemns such vandalism and irresponsible behaviour. The University has immediately removed the graffiti and banners, and will deal with those involved in accordance with established disciplinary procedures.

The University had earlier executed its responsibility to remind the student organisers about the exhibition’s promotional materials that contain illegal content and improper use of images, which may potentially violate the law. We had repeatedly communicated with the event organisers to urge them to immediately modify or remove the relevant promotional materials, and earnestly reminded them not to put themselves at risk of committing offense against the law, as they will have to bear the legal consequences.

CUHK reiterates that University members must conduct activities or express opinions in a rational, respectful manner and abide by the law. The University does not tolerate any illegal behaviour or damage to the reputation of the University, and that any violations will be dealt with strictly. The Cultural Square is managed by the Student Union under the authorisation of the University. The Student Union must not infringe upon the rights and interests of others while making personal expression. In the event of any inappropriate activities taking place there, the University will take necessary action to protect the well-being of the University and all its members. The University also has the responsibility to cooperate with law enforcement officers who are required by law to enter the campus to investigate and take action.

The incident at CUHK last November severely affected a large number of University stakeholders and citizens. The incident was caused by people who purposely threw objects onto roads and the railway, resulting in massive traffic paralysis. The University had strongly condemned these irresponsible acts that endangered human lives. The campus was also extensively damaged by mobs of masked individuals. The recovery of the campus from the traumatic incident has been made possible through the dedicated efforts of the University community. The biased description of the event of last year by the exhibition organisers is thus deeply regrettable.