Early this morning (19 November), the University found that many places on campus had been spray-painted with phrases and markings, including the walls, passages and floors of many buildings in different Colleges, academic buildings and public places, which may cause permanent damage. The University strongly condemns such illegal acts and irresponsible behaviour. Since these acts constitute criminal damage, the University has already made a report to the police.
The University also learned from the internet that a group is initiating a demonstration and procession on campus during the Congregation today. In view of the fact that large crowd gatherings will bring health risks to the campus, such behaviour is likely to violate Cap. 599G Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation, as well as the relevant regulations on public meetings and public processions as prescribed in the “Public Order Ordinance” (Cap. 245), the University has notified the police to prevent the situation from getting out of control.
Since the demonstration and procession were initiated on social platforms, the University did not receive any application and was not able to identify the organisers. To ensure the wellbeing of its students, the University has been actively communicating with student leaders and urging them to disseminate messages to other students regarding the legal and health risks of related activities, and remind them not to participate in illegal or inappropriate activities.
CUHK reiterates that the Congregation is a solemn occasion, and it is definitely not an occasion for political expression and the dissemination of political messages. The University expresses deep regret over and condemns all irresponsible and disrespectful acts towards graduates and their family members. All behaviour that harms the reputation of the University will be handled in accordance with established disciplinary procedures.
(This statement was issued at 10:30 am on 19 November 2020)