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LGBTQ RIGHTS/NTU student election candidates investigated over offensive platform

05/22/2023 04:33 PM
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The main entrance to National Taiwan University
The main entrance to National Taiwan University's campus in Taipei is seen in this CNA file photo.

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Two candidates on the same ticket in a National Taiwan University (NTU) student election could face penalties ranging from an official reprimand to expulsion over crude, discriminatory language they used in their campaign platform.

In a statement Monday, NTU said the two candidates in the Department of Economics' May 29-31 student association elections had been referred to the school's Gender Equality Committee over the offensive policy proposals, which were posted on the student association's Facebook page.

Among the appeals in the students' platform were "LGBTQ people and dogs are not allowed to play the online game 'Arena of valor' in the association's office" and "those who graduate without having a boyfriend or girlfriend must be surgically sterilized."

There were also proposals "to cut the admission quota of Indigenous people, overseas ethnic Chinese and sports students" and "to prohibit people who have a Body Mass Index of over 20 from taking an elevator."

The remarks drew a strong public backlash, including criticism from Taiwan's education minister, prompting the candidates to apologize on Sunday and suspend their election campaign.

According to NTU, after receiving a case referral, the Gender Equality Committee must decide within 20 days whether or not to hear it.

If it does accept the case, the committee assigns it to a working group to complete an investigation within two months, which it then submits, along with its recommended punishment, to NTU's Student Rewards and Disciplinary Committee.

The disciplinary committee then decides whether or not to impose a punishment, with options including an official reprimand, a minor or major demerit, or expulsion, among others, based on the severity of the case.

Wang Li-jung (王麗容), an honorary professor in NTU's Department of Social Work who previously chaired the Gender Equality Committee, told CNA that in the past, students were typically only expelled for crimes such as sexual assault.

In most other cases, students receive some type of administrative penalty and are required to attend gender equality classes, Wang said, adding that the school's goal in the process is to reform students' behavior, and not to kick them out.

(By Phoenix Hsu, Lee Hsin-Yin and Matthew Mazzetta)


> Chinese Version

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