It’s lonely at the top. Certainly, it has been a long few weeks for the University of Hong Kong Vice-Chancellor Peter Mathieson, who was snapped by a Facebook user on campus enjoying a sandwich alone on a bench.
Social media users took pity on Mathieson, whose recommendation of pro-democracy law scholar Johannes Chan Man-mun for the role of pro-vice-chancellor of the University was rejected last month by the HKU Council.
Some compared the scene to the popular “sad Keanu” meme which went viral in 2010.
The rejection of Chan followed a lengthy process of deliberation and dispute that lasted more than nine months. Students and staff have since been staging vigils and protests on campus, claiming that academic freedom is under attack from Beijing.