For those who are international students or interested in reading English, we provide translated version about school policy of WINGS--High Fly Post 21.1.
Human Beings Always Make the Same Mistake – Lee Shau Kee Business Building
Perhaps because during designing the costly Business Building the University overemphasized the materials and the beauty of its design for an impression of the excellent quality with a reasonable price, its utility is not taken into thorough consideration. The Building, constructed on the hillside at South Gate, is located beside the former home of Shaw Studio and the vacated TV City. One needs to pass through two escalators to arrive at the main entrance. The designers considered that the outdoor escalators may not be able to withstand the winds, rain and sunlight in the long term, so added a semi-transparent glass cover caringly. In view of the urgency of repair of the escalator with two consecutive days because of heavy rain, it could be said that though such act is not effective, it is based on foresight.
However, the stairs next to the escalator do not benefitfrom such foresight as well . On the same day, it was observed that the escalator was out of order to make it necessary for students holding up their umbrellas to walk through the stairs wide enough for only two persons to pass simultaneously. Within only ten minutes, the stairs needed to accommodate the flow of people to and for the Building simultaneously. The situation was like how it is at the “extremely narrow” stairs to South Gate outside Lifts 31-32. Also, as no cover was built above the stairs and raindrops were accumulated on the ground, accidents were easy to happen. Obviously it was due to the careless consideration during planning. It was also probably due to the sacrifice of utility for beauty and even a lack of consultation and of transparency of the plan. Therefore the design of the Business Building could not meet students’ needs.
It is named the Business Building just because its offices are mainly allocated for professors and staff members of the Business School. But in terms of course arrangement, students from all Schools could go to the Business Building for lessons. Some are even arranged to go to the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Meanwhile, Business students need to return to Academic Building for some courses exclusive for them (like language courses LABU and LANG). If professors end the lectures late, students cannot arrive within the ten-minute break at all. Such arrangement would affect the following session, delaying the starting time and thus forming a vicious cycle. Students not from the Business School suffer too as they need to go to the Building for lessons. This reflects that the planning of classroom in the Building could not satisfy the needs of the students of the Business School and thus needs to suit with the course arrangement, causing more students to waste time travelling to and from Academic Building and the Business Building.
A Brief Look on LG5 Free Zone
Several new policies of the University will put the public space in the campus to good use to their greatest extent, reduce waste of resources and facilitate campus members. They include the “Free Zone for Student Promotional Activities” on LG5 Open Area set up in public venues near the escalator on LG5 in Academic Building, Lifts 10-12 and Lift 15.
The Guideline endorsed in June this year stipulates that the Free Zone is open without advance booking from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday during term time, except public holidays. As shown in the picture, three are now six benches in total in the public venues on LG5, the first to fifth (Yellow Zone) of which are in the Free Zone. The remaining sixth (Black Zone) still needs advance booking from FMO. In short, the Free Zone, similar to part-time pedestrian streets, becomes part-time student promotional activities area. The guideline also states that recognized student groups using the Free Zone will be held responsible for their behavior and materials placed in the Free Zone. The users are also responsible for clearing the space by 7 p.m. on the day of their use; otherwise the materials left would be removed.
The University would provide facilities for the Free Zone to facilitate student groups’ promotion on the Free Zone. Electric supply is nearby for students’ use. In addition, the University claimed that they would provide mobile fans to enhance air circulation and more rubbish bins to keep the environment clean so that students’ needs would be satisfied. Still, the number of rubbish bins has not risen according to observation. In terms of lighting, the third and fourth benches at two sides of Bridge Link can utilize the sunshine; additionally, the University installed lights to provide sufficient light during their promotion, even though there is little sunlight in other places.
The Free Zone was planned to put into use since the commencement of the Term, but considering that some affiliated societies did not have counters at Atrium in O’Week in September, it is decided that the public venues would be for affiliated societies without counters to promote first and the implementation would be postponed until the end of O’Week so that they would be open to all student groups. The following would be some brief comments and suggestions about the measures about the Free Zone, in hope of a smoother implementation of this policy.
The Free Zone is workable; at least no mess was caused as seen in O’Week. Student organizations can enjoy more autonomy in their promotion as well as minimize intervention and even unnecessary management; the situation has been recovered that the University assists student organizations in only security maintenance, resource provision and coordination. The Free Zone is exclusive for students; it would not be booked by the University in advance and thus cause a lack of places for student activities. To conclude, the policy, clearly oriented, is specific to the problem of a lack of space for student group promotion and is a good policy indeed.
The principle to use the Free Zone is fair as well. The operation time is from 9 a.m. and a first-come-first-served principle is followed. In other words, every student group shares equal opportunities to use the Free Zone. Some need not worry about unfair allocation of places even they could not book counters.
In terms of facilities, it is not a big problem for the sub-organizations of the Student’s Union since they should know the University’s notice, but students in general may not know what facilities would be provided. How can they use them? They may not feel that convenient and the Free Zone would not be fully utilized. Therefore, implementing the policy, the University should also promote the facilities, state the procedures and rules of borrowing facilities like fans, and provide comprehensive, clear information so as to help students in consultation and reservation of facilities. What’s more, benches in need of lights have to depend on them to keep the whole-day illumination without sunlight. Only two hours of illumination from lights per time is, however, too short for these places. Besides causing inconvenience, repetitively switching on the lights lowers their efficiency easily that they become fragile and need to change. It is believed that it cannot save much energy and electricity fee. The repetition of the defect of “energy-saving” of the University’s staff makes loss and shortcomings overwhelm gain and advantages. The remedy this time still could not help much. The University should be more alert in the future – it has been a poor habit already!
Student activities are diverse to enrich campus life and our experience, which benefit our growth and cultivation of our personalities. In the promotion of student activities, the organizers and participants have their own give and take and learn to strive for individual and collective benefits. Therefore, student activities are indispensable in university education – not only a transfer of knowledge but also a nurture of individuals. To facilitate and encourage student group promotion can exactly help enrich university education. How will be the long-term effectiveness of facilitation with the Free Zone? Let’s see the intention and situation of student organizations to use the Free Zone for promotion after O’Week.
Guideline for Use of "Free Zone for Student Promotional Activities" on LG5 Open Area: https://sao.ust.hk/studentlife/pdf/GuidelineForUseOfFreeZone.pdf
Presentation about new measures in late August: https://sao.ust.hk/studentlife/pdf/NewMeasuresOnUseOfCommunalSpaceForActivities.pdf
Water Sports Center
The water flow is calm in Ngau Mei Hoi and ships seldom pass by. The University, considering so, thus would like to put this natural resource into good use and build a Water Sports Center on the pier. A task force was then set up to ensure a thoughtful planning.
It was known that one of the principles of this project is to ensure that the educational values of the center matches with the University’s targets. The direction of development should first enrich students’ campus life, and aim to equip students to become pillars of the society and encourage their life-long learning. The task force emphasized an activity-based development policy to boost their interests in water sports and promote the existing water sports clubs in the Students’ Union. Thus, the first stage will promote dragon-boat racing, coastal rowing and canoeing; in the second and the third the sports will be extended to windsurfing and yachting.
The detailed planning of the Water Sports Center has not been finalized yet and needs professionals’ opinions. At present the University has already built a raft for boarding on and off boats. The next step will be to reconstruct the barbecue site beside the pier into a single-storey boat shed to put boats. The barbecue site has been chosen mainly because it is near the pier and its usage is low. It is believed that the construction will not affect students too much. After that the University will choose another place for rebuilding the barbecue site with consultation. In the long term, the seafront passage will be widened to build another two-storey bigger boat shed and a Water Sports Center with observation decks.
Now, the development plan would be sponsored by alumni funds every year. Student Affairs Office has co-organized courses since April 2013 so as to provide more opportunities for more students to reach water sports. In the long term, the task force hopes that water sports training courses can be provided by UST; in the short term, however, since the University could hardly provide sufficient safety equipment, the plan may be highly possible to come true after many years. Moreover, the University cooperates with various professional groups, hoping to attract more groups to take long-term trainings and organize activities at UST’s Water Sports Center in the future. An organizing committee formed by students and alumni would organize a Dragon Boat Fun Day on 19th October, in which all students, staff and alumni would be welcome to participate, to promote water sports and encourage more alumni to return for participation.
The relevant plan has not been finalized yet. Although there have been student representatives in the task force, what do you think? If you have opinions, voice out to the University as early as you can to let the Water Sports Center meet your demands and prevent it from being a campus facility with a high cost but a low usage rate.
Members of the task force are from:
Dragon-Boat Club, HKUSTSU
Rowing Club, HKUSTSU
Dr. Eden Woon, VPIA