Social Responsibility Day stresses CityU commitment

Karen Cheng

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) further endorsed its commitment to engaging in activities that benefit society at its Social Responsibility Day on 12 February under the theme People and Planet.

The aim of the event, which was held at Noah’s Ark and Ma Wan Park, was to encourage public and social organisations such as higher education institutions to take more responsibility for the planet and its people. The message was to treasure resources, protect the environment and reduce, or even eliminate, pollution.

In attendance were the Hon Leung Chun-ying, Council Chairman, and Professor Way Kuo, University President, plus Council members, staff, students, alumni and children from a social welfare organisation. In all, the turnout totaled about 200 people.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Leung said CityU had a duty to shoulder greater social responsibility in addition to its role in educating students and undertaking research. As such, the Council has set up a Social Responsibility Committee in order to encourage the CityU community to fulfill this commitment, he said.

“CityU graduates should not confine themselves only to mastering professional knowledge and specialised skills. They should also take up social responsibility,” said Mr Leung. He said practising social responsibility begins in our daily lives. “For example, for precious energy and materials, we should try our best to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, replace’. We can then help to develop a more harmonious relationship between humanity and nature, and also boost sustainable development,” he said.

In his speech, Professor Kuo said outstanding students should have ideals, be concerned for the community and be willing to bear due responsibility for society in addition to achieving excellent academic results. “In a globalised world, young people who can adapt to, persevere with and sincerely pursue social responsibility will become the leaders of tomorrow,” said Professor Kuo.

After the opening ceremony, Mr Leung, Professor Kuo and some of the participants helped to remove parasitic plants like cassytha filiformis and weeds in Ma Wan Park. Parasitic vines possess strong reproductive capabilities and feed by extracting nutrients from host plants. This process often results in the gradual withering and even demise of the host. Weeds hurt agricultural production and damage the environment.

Participants also helped to clean the nearby Tung Wan Beach and CityU students led participants on an eco-tour of Ma Wan Park. Other students on the City-Youth Empowerment Project accompanied over 20 children from Tsuen Wan’s Caritas Community Centre on activities throughout the day, including taking them to Noah’s Ark.

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