National Sun Yat-sen University has established a committee to help it determine the fate of campus statues of Chiang Kai-shek （蔣介石） and Republic of China （ROC） founder Sun Yat-sen （孫逸仙）.
The increase in student support for transitional justice and increased incidents of vandalism of the statues prompted the school in Kaoshiung to seek a consensus on what should happen to the statues, school officials said on Wednesday.
The statues carry political weight, but their presence on campus has also overseen a multitude of students graduate, Department of Student Affairs head Yang Ching-li （楊靜莉） said.
The university decided not to act on its own, as the question of the statues’ fate provides a great opportunity for students, faculty, lecturers and alumni to discuss the issue, Yang said.
The university established the committee to sponsor debates and public hearings through on online voting platform devised by professor Liao Ta-chi （廖達琪）, Yang said.
After taking all opinions into consideration, the university will announce its decision at a news conference on April 5 at its Art Center, Yang said.
The center is housed in the building where Chiang stayed during visits to the university and April 5 will be the 42nd anniversary of his death, Yang said.
University dean Cheng Ying-yao （鄭英耀） said that there was a significant increase in support for transitional justice following the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） last year, and the statues’ removal might not be a bad idea because it would provide more space for staff and students.
However, the spirit of the university’s founding and the statues’ historical meaning must be considered, Cheng said.
The university has no stance and will respect whatever decision is reached, the dean said.
However, the statues will remain together whatever decision is made, Cheng said.
However, the question of a name change for the school has been removed from the list of issues up for discussion.
In related news, the Tainan City Government on Tuesday night removed a statue of Chiang in a roundabout in Yujing District （玉井）, the third such removal this month.
The Tainan City Government said the symbol of the authoritarian period should be left on the ash heap of history.
It called on the Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT）, which protested the removal, not to obstruct social progress.
Seven more Chiang statues in public spaces will also be removed, it said.
It removed 14 Chiang statues last year from elementary and junior-high schools.