Left out, but not left behind

Updated: 2011-06-13 08:53

By Lin Qi (China Daily)

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Some students prefer not to join the Party at university because they are too busy, or because they don't think Party membership will make a big difference in their lives.

Jin Qi, a freshman from Jiangxi Agricultural University in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, says her father, a Party member, tried to persuade her to join the Party when she started at university.

"He thought of Party membership as a family tradition and he believed his daughter should follow in his footsteps. I told him, mentally, I was not mature enough. I'm not a person who will hold firm to an ideal or a belief, which, I think, is a requirement for being a Party member," she says.

Another reason for Jin to think twice about joining the Party is the work involved. "To become a Party member you have to first submit a Party membership application to the youth league committee. Then, if you become a candidate you have to attend a series of training courses, in addition to the regular curriculum. The probationary period is another year, before a candidate can finally swear to the Party flag," she says.

A student from Suzhou University of Science and Technology surnamed Lu, who declined to give her full name, says the process of becoming a Party member takes two years and requires at least one progress report on thought trends every semester.

"The report should be at least 800 characters and be hand written ... Plus, the reports will become parts of my personal file and be read by my future bosses, which will make me feel nervous," she says.

Lu says some of her classmates believe Party membership will make them more competitive when looking for jobs. About half of her classmates are Party members or probationary Party members.

"Once, I applied for jobs at primary and secondary schools. If a job seeker is a Party member, they will get more positive responses from interviewers, and I felt I had lost out somewhat," Lu says. "But it turns out most employers care more about whether the applicant is capable of doing the job," says Lu, who has found employment at a provincial television and broadcasting group.

China Daily


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