Today I learned that a hiking club of my friend’s school was cancelled by school officials due to safety concern. I found this really stupid and so did my friends. This hiking club was first established in 2007 when hiking and camping just started to become popular among students in China. After 8 years, with the support of thousands students, this club grew to a large organization that had at least one thousand members at school and few more thousands members who have graduated.
Even in Chinese university normally with 20,000 to 40,000 students, this is still a big interest club. Hiking is a new thing for many Chinese students, but people love it. Before its cancellation, the club held event every other week and was one of the most famous club in that school.
For 8 years, how many students were literally put in danger because the so-called “safety concern” by school officials? The answer is “zero”. Nobody were in any dangerous situation in 8 years, and everyone did enjoyed and learned from those numerous wonderful and tough experience during hiking and camping in the mountains. School officials, however, were still terrified by the uncertainty that this club might bring to them and simply cancelled the club in avoidance of any problem they may face.
This was rude and stupid. But they just didn’t care.
“I will continue to dedicate myself into what I love”, the club leader said on Wechat (a facebook-like app in China) after the cancellation, “we will keep bringing the idea of outdoor sports and activities to chinese youths. We will never give up.”
I was a leader of a cycling club myself and we had great relationship with this hiking club. We had many mutual members and we both loved each other’s activities. Sometimes we held event on cycling, camping and travelling altogether. We gained courage, confidence and friendship. Now their club was cancelled, I have no idea if my club will be the next. Comparing to the majority of traditional students and school officials, we are by ourselves. Few people stand by our side, but this is what I wrote on Wechat after this incident,
“We are isolated, but the future is ours.”
I hope my friends in the club can all go through this tough period and welcome a more beautiful, open and innovative era of China.