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The Controversy In China About Whether University Students Should Marry.

3459 words - 14 pages

Should students have the right to get married while still in college? Should schools give student couples permission to get married at this stage? Whether to allow college students to marry on campus has long been a controversial issue in China. In the past and even in some cases now, college students are forbidden from getting married in China. The legal age at which students can tie the knot is 22 for men and 20 for women. However, undergraduates who decide to get married must quit college before doing so. But in the winter of 2002, a student from Beijing Foreign Language University ignored the rules and got married in his final year. More than 50 of his schoolmates attended his wedding feast--the first-ever case of a student marriage in the country. When asked why he broke the rules, this student indicated, "The rule is old and unreasonable; it doesn't fit the new-world." and "Getting married is my undeniable right" (Yang Cheung). When he said these words, he probably didn't think he would start an argument that would become nation-wide. In fact, his words provoked debates and arguments on the issue: should college students have the right to get married while still in school? "Getting married is my undeniable right." The current management provision was issued in 1990 by the State EducationCommission and has been strictly carried out by all Chinese colleges. On their first day of school, college students are told that marriage is completely prohibited. However, in the year of 2000, when the Ministry of Education adjusted the age restriction for students to study in college, problems appeared: if grandparents and parents could study in college, then why couldn't college students get married? Legal professionals complained that the current rule of student marriage takes away the right to marry at the legal age, which must be protected. They argued that the Chinese Marriage Law and its newly-passed revision stipulate that no organization or individual is allowed to interfere in people's right to marry. "College students of legal marriageable age have the right to take their college to court if their legal rights are inappropriately forbidden," said Wei-Fang, professor at the Law School of Peking University. "The colleges will undoubtedly be the losers," he said, "citizens' rights cannot be denied and that there are no exceptions for college students" (qtd. in Peoples' Daily). Schools' Viewpoints Even though citizens' legal rights cannot be denied, potential problems cannot be ignored, either. Yang, principal of Shanghai University, argued the current management rule enacted in colleges does not really conflict with the rights of students. Although some university students are old enough...

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