The Civil Aviation Flight University of China is investigating allegations of on-campus bullying after several netizens complained of the school’s culture of hazing, state newspaper Beijing Youth Daily reported Tuesday.
According to the paper, the first complaints surfaced on microblogging platform Weibo on Wednesday: A person claiming to be a first-year student posted a screenshot of a list of “regulations” for new arrivals at the school, located in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
The list specifically targets female freshmen. “No matter what, you must always greet female seniors,” reads the first rule. The list becomes more absurd and unreasonable: no wearing hair down after showering, no manicures or fancy hairdos, no ear piercings, no jewelry, no admittance to certain buildings, no ordering takeout delivery, no walking or dining with senior boys, no complaining on social media or whining to parents — and “for the love of God, never roll your eyes at a female senior,” the list concludes.
The list also warns the reader that resistance is futile: “The more you fight back, the stricter we female seniors will be — and the more trouble that will come to you.”
Founded in 1956, the university is administered by China’s Civil Aviation Administration. According to the school’s website, it provides over 90 percent of the pilots employed by Chinese airlines. It trains students for a wide variety of careers in aviation.
Li Qihan, a 23-year-old who enrolled in the Civil Aviation Flight University’s flight attendant program in 2014, described her experience in a Weibo post on Thursday. Though she said the school’s military-style structure was good for keeping fit and cultivating good hygiene habits, she couldn’t tolerate the “mentally twisted” female seniors.
“Everyone is inherently equal,” Li wrote in her post. “Please don’t make this place feel like a jail.” When she once had dinner with a male pilot from her hometown, Li said, her classmates took photos of her and sent them to a chat group of female seniors in an effort to slut-shame her. Li also said one senior accused her of wearing eyeliner during morning training and demanded to know her name and year in school.
As the micro- and macroaggressions continued, Li found life at the university intolerable, and eventually withdrew. “I came here to learn and to enjoy my college years, not to serve you!” she wrote in her post, referring to the upperclassmen who tormented her.
Li told Sixth Tone on Friday that she’s living a happy life now but declined to answer further questions. Sixth Tone’s calls to the Civil Aviation Flight University the same day went unanswered.
Bullying is a serious problem at many schools in China, and a lack of oversight has many parents worried sick. In April, a middle schooler in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region jumped from a building, allegedly after being bullied by classmates. The school denied any responsibility in the girl’s death.
In December 2017, the Chinese government passed a regulation specifically aimed at preventing campus bullying, but high-profile cases continue to make headlines.
Editor: David Paulk.
(Header image: An aircraft is displayed as a landmark on campus at the Civil Aviation Flight University in Guanghan, Sichuan province, Sept. 26, 2017. IC)