Rowdy students must learn lesson
Abusive behaviour towards staff in Mandarin protest is not acceptable and those responsible should know confrontations are not accepted in our society
University students are expected to behave like educated and well-mannered individuals. But from time to time, some students let down the public with their poor behaviour.
The latest controversy saw the student union leader and others at Baptist University storm its language centre and be abusive to staff. The incident was captured on video and went viral on the internet.
It is shameful that the group acted like thugs, hurling obscenities at teaching staff over a language test in an eight-hour stand-off last Wednesday. The university has set the right tone by showing zero tolerance towards such behaviour and vowing to handle the case seriously.
In question is the Mandarin test introduced last year for students seeking exemption from a compulsory course for the language as part of the graduation requirement.
Amid growing tension with the mainland, there may be growing resistance towards the official language among youngsters.
With seven in 10 failing the test, the students were understandably frustrated and called for clarifications on the benchmark.
But they should have taken up their concerns with the management through proper channels. The talks held on Tuesday were a step in the right direction to resolving the dispute.
Some people compared the stand-off with the University of Hong Kong drama in 2016, in which some council members were besieged on campus by student activists.
They said the Occupy protests still had a lingering influence on the youngsters of today. Whether this is the case is open to debate. But if confrontation becomes increasingly common, it is clearly a cause for concern.
Thanks to social media, unruly behaviour is brought to public attention more often these days.
Protesters clashing with police, lawmakers disrupting meetings, demanding customers and tourists making a scene in public, rowdy air passengers thrown off aircraft – these are just some examples of misbehaviour witnessed on occasions.
We trust the strong public disapproval of the students’ action has taught them a lesson. Confrontations are not to be accepted in our society.