Hong Kong vice-chancellor hits out at students playing mahjong on campus

Joseph Sung says Chinese University students engaging in midnight game failed to meet standards set for “learned members of society”

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 6:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 9:02pm

Chinese University vice-chancellor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu urged students to show “respect” after a group was caught playing mahjong in an open campus area shortly after midnight, saying they had failed to meet the standards set for “learned members of society”.

Sung was commenting on his blog on Wednesday on an incident reported in Chinese University Student Press magazine on September 22, in which six students challenged a group of security guards when they were asked to stop playing mahjong on a campus terrace.

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The report sparked an online debate challenging regulations on the use of campus space.

The magazine said security guards called police when students refused to present their university identity cards.

It wrote: “The students claimed their actions did not constitute gambling, and there were no university regulations prohibiting the playing of mahjong on the main campus.’’

A follow-up report on the incident called on the university to be more transparent about what could and could not be done on campus at different times of the day.

Sung wrote that he expected students to “be responsible and well-educated members”, and he had therefore not laid down hard-and-fast rules regulating the use of public spaces on campus.

He added that the terrace of the University Science Centre, where the students placed their mahjong set, was at the heart of the institute as it was next to the University Mall – an iconic campus landmark.

“If students play mahjong, write graffiti on buildings or have hotpot meals anywhere and at any time, they might one day even carry out disreputable acts,’’ he wrote.