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Shandong university criticized for public exposure of campus PDA

(People's Daily Online)    16:28, May 19, 2017


Public displays of affection are far from universally accepted, but a college in Shandong province has gone far beyond passive disapproval. Instead, the school is aggressively exposing “uncivilized” behavior.

Dozens of photos displaying “uncivilized” acts performed around campus have been displayed at Shandong Foreign Languages Vocational College since May 15. The objectionable activities included smoking and keeping forbidden pets, as well as seven photos of students hugging, kissing or simply holding hands, local news site Dzwww.com reported.

While everyone in the photos had their faces obscured, the “exposure” still made many people uncomfortable. The ensuing backlash argued that college students have a right to be in relationships, and nothing about their behavior was abnormal. However, some people also mentioned that public displays of affection must not “cross the line,” potentially making others uncomfortable.


Faced with doubts and concerns, the college said a formal school regulation warns students that they may be punished if they choose to kiss and hug in public. One school official surnamed Ma further explained that the regulation is in line with a 2015 guideline from the Ministry of Education, which aims to “create a civilized campus atmosphere," Dzwww.com reported.

Ma added that the college warned students one month before the photo "exhibition" that so-called uncivilized activities would be captured and brought to light. The official also promised that this practice would continue.

“All these photos were taken in public. This is not a violation of their privacy,” Ma said, adding that the college does not oppose relationships between students. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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