Varsity denies forcing students to carry bricks

LIAONING • A university in north-eastern China debunked claims that it had forced students to carry bricks on its main square in exchange for "moral conduct" points, reported the South China Morning Post.

The Hong Kong daily quoted the news website of state media People's Daily, saying that students at the Liaoning University of International Business and Economics had posted photos online of themselves working in the square which was covered with bricks, calling themselves cheap labourers.

The students said that they would earn extra points for "moral conduct" evaluation if they took part, or have points deducted if they refused, the online post said.

A senior official from the Liao- ning University of International Business and Economics clarified that it was a voluntary exercise aimed at inculcating students' passion for their school.

The square had been built for more than 10 years, and repair works are being carried out to improve the environment, said the official.

The university president, some key faculty and staff and a number of students worked together to prise bricks from the ground last Friday as part of repairs.

The bricks were later hauled away by machines, he said.

The purpose of the activity was to involve both staff and students in the building of the school, so as to generate passion for the school.

"The rumour of forcing students to carry bricks and giving students additional 'moral conduct' points for doing so is untrue," the official said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2016, with the headline 'Varsity denies forcing students to carry bricks'. Print Edition | Subscribe