“This is why we are at a University,” Prof. Mary Alice Haddad, Chair of CEAS, prefaced at the panel on the Hong Kong protests, which featured Hong Kong students Joy Ming King ‘20, Bryan Chong ‘21, Jeff Cheung ‘21, and Shirmai Chung ‘20. Because similar events have caused unrest and violence on other school campuses worldwide, Prof. Haddad saw this panel as a test for Wesleyan; hoping that we can discuss the Hong Kong protests and equally important topics with mutual respect and awareness.
She drew particular attention to two posters in the High Rise elevator, which were defaced on two separate occasions in the couple of days leading up to the panel. Someone had taken the effort to put “China” next to “Hong Kong” at the end of each panelist’s name and later returned to put the word “gay” next to where “China” had been.
Chong responded civilly and hopefully in a WesAdmits 2022 post that took the high road, writing:
This level of insensitivity and disrespect is disappointing, but not by any means shocking. With every political movement comes discourse, often caustically worded out of anger or ignorance. While we cannot and should not agree on everything, we must be mindful of the manner in which we approach such issues, and the defacing of the posters violates a baseline understanding of respect. The panel began with a brief summary of Hong Kong’s history (which you can read more about in Argus articles 1, 2, and 3) by Prof. Haddad, which was followed by a sincere plea from Prof. Huang, CEAS, for the audience to patiently listen to the panelists’ narratives.