Polytechnic University update

OPINION
By JEROME DE LA FUENTE
November 22, 2019

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Dear Students, Colleagues and Alumni

The PolyU campus has been occupied by activists and has been severely and extensively vandalised over the past few days. The unlawful activities and acts of violence inside the campus and in its vicinity have been escalating, including damage to a number of laboratories on campus with the dangerous chemicals inside being taken away.
    
All classes have been forced to be suspended and all operations on the campus have been halted. The University is gravely concerned that the spiralling radical illicit activities will cause not only a tremendous safety threat on campus, but also class suspension over an indefinite period of time.
    
Once again, we plead with all people on campus, including students and staff members, to leave immediately.
    
We understand that our students are very concerned about the current social issues. However, in striving for one’s goal, one must always act with calmness and rationality.
    
Using violence or other radical means will not resolve problems, and instead it will cause a breach of the peace in our society, as well as traffic disruption. PolyU is the second home for our students, teachers and alumni, who have put painstaking efforts into building it up with the generous support from the community over the past eight decades.
    
We are all heart-broken and in deep distress to witness the severe devastation of this home. We believe that most of the alumni, staff and students of the PolyU, as well as their relatives and friends, are deeply saddened to see the campus and the nearby areas completely wrecked, the traffic disrupted, and the University indefinitely closed.
    
They are concerned about the safety on the campus, and they do not want to see the campus being destroyed further. We sincerely urge our students to stand together with us in cherishing and guarding themselves as well as this campus that we call home.
    
We appeal again for all to stay calm and rational and say “No” to violence. Do not engage in any violent or unlawful activities. In this moment of utmost risk, stay away from any danger and always be vigilant in protecting yourselves to relieve our, as well as your friends’ and relatives’ worries about you.
    
We have called on Deans, Department Heads and teachers to persuade our students to leave the campus as soon as possible. We also appeal to the parents and friends of the students to make efforts in doing likewise.
    
Universities are venues for advancing knowledge and nurturing talents. Universities are not battlegrounds for political disputes and should not be drawn into violent confrontations. PolyU strongly condemns the occupation of the campus by the people who commit acts of violence and demands that they leave immediately.
    
In this difficult time, we again call on all parties in society to maintain calm and restraint. We also plead with the members of PolyU to stand together. With our concerted efforts, we hope the campus can return to peace and tranquillity soon, and the impasse and turbulence in the society will come to an end.
    
Best regards,
    
Dr LAM Tai-Fai, Council Chairman
    
Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President
    
Professor Philip C. H. CHAN, Deputy President and Provost
    
Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President
    
Mr Andy TONG, Vice President (Campus Development and Facilities)
    
Ir Professor Alex WAI, Vice President (Research Development)
    
Ir Professor Ben YOUNG, Vice President (Student Affairs)
    
Professor S. L. HO, Associate Vice President (Academic Support)
    
Professor Chetwyn CHAN, Associate Vice President (Learning and Teaching)
    
Professor Guohua CHEN, Associate Vice President (Research Support)
    
Professor K. Y. WONG, Associate Vice President (Research Support)
    
Professor Daniel T. L. SHEK, Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme)
    
Professor WONG Wing-tak, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles
    
Ir Professor T. C. Edwin CHENG, Dean of the Faculty of Business
    
Ir Professor Y. L. XU, Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment
    
Ir Professor H. C. MAN, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
    
Prof. David SHUM, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
    
Professor LI Ping, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities
    
Professor K. P. LEE, Dean of the School of Design
    
Professor Kaye CHON, Dean of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management
    
Professor Esmond MOK, Dean of Students

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