Cover Letter for Proclamation
March 14, 1924

Our highly esteemed professors:

As the other proclamation was going to be sent for your kind consideration, to our great astonishment, a notice was put up at 3 P.M. by the acting president to the effect that Messrs Chiang, Wang, Yu and Wang are to be dismissed with the charge of being the chief factor of the strike.

Now these four are only officials of this union and have nothing to do with the stirring up of the storm(?), which they have even not the ability to do. Also as we went on with our usual work today, what does the strike mean? It is not that the notice is entirely without ground?

It is for the sake of conscience, for the good of the university and the country that we petition for the abdication of our acting president. If he could, and of his own abilities, he would, as an upright, enlightened and accomplished man would do, resign from the present position without any other's appeal. But on the contrary he put up this notice, unreasonable and groundless.

We are now in a dark period that tyranny is at its highest pitch of in Peiyang, and every moment may be our last under the terrible giant power, a steam roller that crushes everything underneath on its way. So there is no other alternative, we are forced to take an extraordinary step, a step we hate much and do not wish to take, ie we are going to strike. We strike simply for the concentration of our energy to carry on the movement for his abdication, and we hope it will not last long and stop as soon as our sole end is accomplished.

Hereby we, with sincerest wishes, ask of our highly esteemed professors, best friends of the university and of China, a good understanding of our movement and a help in the maintenance of order for the safety of the whole university.

Peiyang University Student Union

The Proclamation

With a view to bring about the betterment of our university, we, after a long period of patience and having considered our circumstances as maturely as time permits, hereby in the name of all the students of the university, reveal before you, our highly esteemed professors, our present movement for the abdication of our acting president, Dr. Feng Hsi-yun. Our university, the oldest one in our country, as you know, has won a good reputation in the past years in as well as outside our country. But since Dr. Feng took its management in his hands, it has by degrees gone backward and thus lags behind while the outside world is in ceaseless rapid progress. The history of his management of our university is only a history of tyranny, misdoings, and corruptions. To prove this, let facts be submitted for your consideration as follow:

He, being a doctor of law, has not even the least knowledge about engineering. But engineering is the very subject and only subject that is within the scope of this institution. So first of all he is not qualified to be our president or even to be our acting president.

This latter title he has borne upon himself for four years, the longest term of acting office in the world perhaps, and even now no one knows anything about the formal president whom he has acted for.

Excuse might be given him for these points if he could have kept well this school in his hands, but in addition, he has not attended to his duty at all. He paid only infrequent visit once or twice a week to our university in someabout a secret manner as if he were afraid of being seen coming and exercising his presidential duties. So many of us, strange to say, after one or two years staying in this school have not once get a sight of him, by whom the whole institution seems to be managed.

If he did come --- but he came very seldem --- he did everything by the way of a tyranny, a rare relic in the present century, the century of democracy.

Repeated petitions, oral or written, have been sent in for the improvement of equipments, classrooms, kitchens, water-places, &c., and the construction of a hospital &c., but refusal has been always his only answer.

As the result of this neglect of the sanitary conditions, he sacrificed without mercy the lives of many of the students as in the last terrible epidemic of scarlet fever visiting our school, which caused a great disturbance among both the faculty and the students and resulted in the premature close of the school for the vacation.

Recently without any consideration of the disadvantages of the old lock system, one perhaps seldem seen in other part of the globe except here, where Peiyang stands, he refused our petition for the change of the old to a new system, which has issued in the order of the Ministry of Education at Peking.

Worst of all, he has deprived of us a right granted by the Constitution of our Republic. He has forbidden from holding any meeting, and this we have been treated as surfs of the ancient times when tyranny was a la mode throughout the world.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redness [editor's note: I think they meant 'redress'] in the most humble terms but in vain, and they only resulted in repeated injury. So to quote the very words in the American Declaration of Independence, "A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyranny, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people", as an example, Dr. Feng is unfit to be president of this university. We, therefore, with warmest cenitiments for the betterment of our university, with minds deeply impressed by the present impending misfortunes, TAKE IT AS A NECESSITY THE ABDICATION OF DR. FENG, and consider it as deed of justice, we bring the facts as to invoke your consideration, judgement and gracious sympathy before our highly esteemed professors, all best friends of China, who come from the freest nation in the world, nation glorious for being the first to have Declaration of Independence and Magna Charta.



[Back to Letter] [Main Menu]