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July 1, 2011

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Students create a campus flutter with farewell banners

WITH graduation season under way on university campuses, humorous farewell banners have become the latest trend this summer to commemorate golden times in the ivory tower.

"Stop chasing after me! My heart only belongs to 07 philosophy department female students," proclaimed a red banner emblazoned with white characters hung outside the dorms of Fudan University's philosophy department.

"Give up your fantasies! We only love 07 philosophy department male students," announced a matching banner hung nearby.

Wu Man, a senior in the department and co-creator of one of the banners, said the students have been together for four years since they enrolled in 2007, and wanted to flatter each other for fun before saying goodbye.

Similar banners are fluttering on other local campuses, as students pay good-humored tribute to their classmates.

After seeing their peers' banners, some students have improvised versions, using quilts and mosquito curtains to display their messages.

One departing student promised, "Juniors, I will come back to marry you after finding a job."

Some university authorities have disapproved of the bold expressions, while some appreciate the creativity.

Yang Yifan, a Shanghai Jiao Tong University teacher, admired the expressions and issued "model couple certificates" to several senior lovebirds at the university's School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering.

"I gave them the certificates to express my best wishes to the graduates as they begin a new life journey, and I hope they will cherish their university love," he said.

However, Xi'an University of Science and Technology officials in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province removed a banner minutes after female students hung it outside their dorm.

Xiong Bingqi, vice president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said those universities that restricts students' expressions of their true feelings are boring and out of touch with public sentiment.


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