Two Lingnan University students, who were formerly members of its student union, have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing over a protest last month against its governing council.
Lau Chun-lam and Lo Ngai-yin, who were president and executive member respectively of last year’s student union, protested outside a Council meeting venue on February 22. They demanded council members set up a committee to review its structure and questioned whether the Chief Executive should be the chancellor of the school.
The meeting was terminated prematurely as the duo and other student protesters blocked some Council members from entering the venue.
Lau and Lo requested help from the student union after they received news of the hearing, saying they did not understand the intention of the hearing and they were feeling “great pressure”.
“[Our] freedom of protest should be protected,” they wrote in a statement. “We feel that since the intention of the hearing is unknown, attending the hearing may subject [us] to political suppression, therefore we refuse to attend this hearing.”
They added that they did not regret their actions.
The student union of Lingnan University also issued a statement saying that the disciplinary hearing was a “retroactive punishment” since Lau and Lo had finished their elected term.
The union urged a public investigation, instead of a closed door hearing, to let students know about the issue. It said that its representative – a member of the disciplinary committee – will be present at the hearing to “prevent the school from conducting a political trial”.
“The student union strongly objects to the school interfering with students’ freedom of assembly and protest on the campus,” the statement read.