Students accuse Lingnan University of suppression

Lingnan University’s students’ union accused the institution of suppression on Thursday, after it announced it will no longer collect membership fees on behalf of the student body.

The university said it came to the decision after receiving complaints from parents and students that bundling union fees together with tuition fees was misleading and inappropriate.

In a statement, the students’ union said the move was unacceptable and ridiculous, adding that its operations will be seriously affected as it does not have information on members.

“The university has been using various administrative means to undermine the financial stability of the students’ union and increase its workload, in a bid to reduce its influence,” it said.

The union said this will undermine students’ rights and interests, but it said it will strive to serve students despite these difficulties.

It’s the latest row between local universities and their students’ unions, with several distancing themselves from the student bodies and others severing ties completely.

On Tuesday, the University of Hong Kong issued a statement saying it no longer recognises its students’ union after its council passed a motion expressing sadness over the death of a man who stabbed a policeman on July 1, and saying it appreciates his “sacrifice”.

The union later withdrew the motion, and apologised.

The university has also reportedly ordered the students’ union to move out of a building on its campus before July 21.

The university’s actions came after Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is also the university’s chancellor, had said HKU should take action against the student leaders.

She said on Tuesday that she was “extremely angry” and “ashamed” that the university had student representatives who would do something like that.