The situation this year is different from those in the past, as there is no elected Executive Committee of  the student union serving CUHK students due to a series of political controversies earlier this year over the proposed cabinet Syzygia.

These came as the political climate in Hong Kong remained tense after the 2019 protests and the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL) last summer.

Syzygia was the only proposed cabinet for this year’s CUSU election for the ExCo. In February, the proposed cabinet published its manifesto, criticizing the university for “bowing to the regime” and arresting CUHK students. It further stated that the cabinet would “promote local culture” and “fight against the unjust regime.”

In the election held on February 24, Syzygia was elected by almost 4,000 votes. But on the next day, the CUHK management issued a statement, stating its objection to what it considered to be false and potentially illegal statements by the cabinet. The university hinted that the manifesto might have breached the NSL.

The CUHK management also announced that it would stop collecting the annual membership fee on behalf of the student union and requested the student union to bear its own legal responsibilities by registering as an independent society. Before that, the CUSU was not required to register as an independent society, but rather existed under the legal entity of the university.

In response, Syzygia withdrew its manifesto on February 27 and announced its resignation on March 1, the first day that it assumed office as the new cabinet of the CUSU. The cabinet stated that it decided to offer its resignation because its members had been harassed and threatened. The university management responded that it had not attempted to threaten or isolate the student union.

On June 25, the acting CUSU council approved that the future student union would start registration as an independent society before October 31. A referendum would be held in September to ratify this decision.


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