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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Tackling truancy on campus

(Global Times)

08:50, December 05, 2011

Zhang Qingxiong, a philosophy professor at Shanghai-based Fudan University, grew suspicious when he discovered his lecture on the afternoon of November 11 was missing 35 students - about half the entire class.

His suspicions soon turned to anger, however, when he realized their absence was due to the fact that they'd been asked by administrators to serve as temporary guards for Hong Kong movie star Tony Leung Chiu Wai, who was at the university for a talk.

Zhang, who said that none of the absent students asked his permission or even informed him they'd be gone, flew into a rage and dashed off an essay entitled "Too Much Amusement May Lead to the Perdition of a Nation" that very night.

The essay was published on the front page of the website of the academic committee of Fudan University a week later, in a move which attracted nationwide attention.

The student union quickly apologized for "lack of communication." Later, however, they admitted that the mistake resulted from a deeper misunderstanding about the role of academic pursuit.

"We ignored the fact that every class is important," representatives wrote on the union's Sina Weibo, or microblog.

Zhang accepted their apology, but emphasized that he wanted to do something to change what he viewed as a fickle and cavalier attitude toward class.

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