Confession sites all the rage on Hong Kong university campuses
The gossip has gone viral, especially on HKU Secrets, as students sound out
Christy Choi and Ernest Kao
Secrets are surfacing across campuses as Hong Kong students lay bare their lives on new university confession sites.
Part love confessional, part gossip blog and complaints forum, the contents of the Facebook community pages have gone viral, especially at the University of Hong Kong, where HKU Secrets has had more than 19,000 likes and hundreds of "confessions" in just under two weeks.
While many regarded the sites initially as a bit of fun, they have now taken a more serious turn.
"At first, it was rather interesting, people posting things like, 'I ran naked outside the Meng Wah complex'," said Yvonne Tong Yuek-wun, a final year bachelor of journalism student. "I had a bit of a laugh reading them, but now there's more people expressing anger and disappointment about this university."
Tong says jitters about the future with sky-high property prices and low pay for graduates has many feeling they no longer have any control over their lives. "I had a lot of dreams when I came to HKU. Now that I'm about to graduate, I don't feel I have any."
At HKU, some students are uncomfortable about the open racism coming from fellow students. "When some mainland students ask that [the administrators] post in simplified characters, they sometimes get many HKU students writing bad and foul language in the comments section," said 18-year-old Andy Chau Man-kit. Many of the posts on an English-only page called HKU Confessions are on cultural clashes between mainland, local and international students.
One anonymous posting said: "I won't mention whether I'm local or not, but I have to say: there goes integration and internationalisation at HKU. It's pathetic on every level, be it lectures, student bodies, outside activities and even social media."
An HKU spokeswoman said the university respected the autonomy of students and would not seek to shut it down. She said students with concerns were encouraged to use such channels as Cedars - the university's Centre of Development and Resources for Students - to reach out to the administration.
Such sites at US universities, have followers in the hundreds, not the thousands attracted by sites for the National University of Singapore, HKU, Chinese University and the University of Science and Technology.
An administrator at HKUST Secrets said the site had been started to let stressed-out students vent their problems. "Student unions haven't done a very good job at this," he said, requesting annoymity.
Confessions of Hong Kong university students
I sometimes sign into the gym as "Chairman Mao".
I love my boyfriend. but I secretly wish that he cheats on me.
To the tall, handsome Indonesian guy with the charm and confidence to match, you stole my heart when I saw you sing in the HKU open mic, are you single? Please say yes..
First step. Wait for the people in a lift to walk out. Second step. THEN, you start walking in. Not the other way around, people. I just saw some students blocking people inside a lift from getting out. Guess what? One of them was walking on crutches. What makes you so impatient to wait for one or two seconds?
You, my friend, have got to be the sexiest man alive. Beautiful voice, cute smile, hot body, and THAT ACCENT! I'm a lesbian but if there are more men like you, I'm changing teams.
There was a girl the other day at Oliver's who bought an entire tray of food, poked at it with her fork twice and then left. I was so hungry and I didn't have enough cash so I ate it all....I'M SORRY. ...Actually no, I'm not sorry. You shouldn't be wasting food in the first place.
I don't mind that you can't speak fluent English, but... Can you not pretend to have a British or American accent? Cause you REALLY can't do it
To my roommate, I don't think we could ever be friends. Maybe it's just me, but you're a pain in the butt. Kind of hilarious that I'm writing this next to you