National Taiwan University student associations condemn 'language martial law'

University cooperative's new Mandarin-only rule drew condemnation from NTU students

NTU (Facebook photo)

NTU (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Several student associations from National Taiwan University on July 31 issued a statement condemning the university cooperative's new Mandarin-only rule.

Jerome Geaun, a professor of the Department of Agricultural Economics at NTU and council member in the university's cooperative, put forward a motion that all meetings should be conducted in Mandarin. According to the CNA, the motion, which the council approved on June 14, has aroused great controversy.

The NTU cooperative is governed by a council, whose members include professors, students, and university staff. The council members meet regularly to discuss the cooperative's operating strategies.

NTU's Taigibunsia (Taiwanese Language Association), the NTU Student Association, and the NTU Graduate Student Association (NTUGSA), among organizations, issued a joint statement on July 31 denouncing the new rule as "language martial law" and demanded it be removed. The associations said the motion violates the equal status of all languages protected by the National Language Development Act.

The president of the NTUGSA said that meetings should be conducted in any language as long as communication is not hampered, reported CNA. The association advocates using Taiwanese on all occasions.

The NTU's administration also responded to the incident. It called for all parties to respect different languages and suggested that meetings and events should be conducted in languages which every participant can understand.