Monday, April 10, 2017
Money or morality? ‘Lost and found’ fee at Sichuan school triggers controversy.
To return lost money or items is a traditional act of morality for most people around the globe. But how would you feel if you had to pay to claim your misplaced items?
Sichuan University of Media and Communication in southwest China has recently triggered controversy with a regulation requiring students to pay between five and 20 yuan (0.7 to 2.8 US dollars) when they claim lost items at the school’s security office - the amount of cash due is dependent on the value of the item, the more expensive the item the higher the charge.
One student, who was asked to pay 10 yuan when she claimed her lost iPhone, used an online post to question whether such a regulation was reasonable.
Reactions from students on campus and netizens online were mixed. Some queried where the cash goes to, and why they had to pay for items they had simply misplaced.
“It’s not a big amount of money, but it just makes me feel uncomfortable,” said a freshman surnamed Li.
Others believe a symbolic charge is an incentive to return lost items, and also a lesson to owners to take better care of their belongings.
“Although people are supposed to return lost items, no one is obliged to keep them for you,“ commented @xfhbcxs2991 on Weibo.
The “lost and found” boxes at the school were said to be full of purses, USBs, chargers and smartphones, along with digital cameras and express packages that were lost during a single semester.
The rule was made by the school’s security department and the logistics center, with the cash mostly going to cleaners on campus. The majority of lost items are found when cleaning the classrooms, according to Zuo Lin, head of the security department.
The rule has achieved remarkable results: the amount of lost cash declined from 8,000 yuan a month to around 2,000 yuan in March.
The school’s publicity department said that the school upholds the principle that the scheme should be voluntary. If a student doesn’t want to pay, the fee will be paid by the school.
What’s your opinion on the regulation? Share with us.