Two Chulalongkorn University alumni groups have expressed support for the university’s decision to strip student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal and seven other students of “behavioural points” and cause five of them to lose their spots on CU’s student council.
The students were sanctioned for “making a scene” during CU’s oath-taking ceremony on August 3, when they bowed before statues of Rama V and Rama VI instead of paying obeisance like the other students.
The students had left the area designated for students to pay respects to the late Kings.
This prompted assistant rector Reungwit Banjongrat to forcefully remove one of the students from the scene.
A widely circulated photo shows him holding fourth-year student Suphalak Bumroongkitthe in a headlock and dragging him away.
Netiwit, who had been president of the student council, said that he planned to appeal against the decision. He had his head shaved in protest.
Chaithawat Thaiyong, president of the CU Education Alumni Association, said that the punishment should result in the university maintaining its good image, traditions and good order so it remained a role model for society.
On Monday afternoon, the association plans to submit a letter in support of CU’s decision.
“The oath-taking ceremony is voluntary for students to participate in. The activity also does not actually involve sophomore students,” he said in possible reference to Netiwit. “The executives have to make this clear.”
CU Engineer Alumni president Saran Rangkhasiri sent a letter to CU rector Bundhit Eua-arporn in support to the decision.