German Univ in Cairo suspends classes as students protest classmate death

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 10 Mar 2015

Yara Negm, a 19-year-old engineering student, was hit by a bus in the GUC parking lot on Monday

GUC sit-in
The GUC students' sit-in at the "Platform" area in the University earlier Tuesday to protest the death of student Yara Tarek "Photo: Mahmoud Magdy"

Hundreds of students at the German University in Cairo (GUC) started a sit-in on Tuesday to protest the death of a female student, before the university announced the suspension of classes for three days.

Yara Negm, a 19-year-old engineering student, was hit by a bus in the GUC parking lot on Monday. 

The GUC Students Union led the sit-in at the platform area where students usually spend their leisure time. Participants in the sit-in boycotted classes and lectures, demanding the administration hold accountable the parking and drivers departments. 

“We decided that nobody will attend lectures or classes in all faculties today and we told the administration that will continue until they take action,” Mai El-Belbesy, the vice head of the Students Union, told Ahram Online.

The angry students demanded the university administration start an inspection system for drivers and parking attendants.

But according to El-Belbesy nobody from the administration has come to listen to their demands. 

They also called on the university administration to change its parking system.

“Already in the past we had incidents of students being hit by university buses in the parking lot, including broken arms and legs, but this time a woman was killed,” El-Belbesy said. 

The sit-in was later moved to the parking area to block the movement of buses.

Negm’s funeral was held in Cairo on Tuesday and was attended by other students. 

The university administration told Ahram Online that classes were continuing as normal. It also added that there were new updates about the accident.

Nevertheless, hours later, after speaking to the administration, the GUC student affairs department sent an email to students announcing the suspension of classes for three days, starting from Tuesday, to mourn the death of Negm. It also announced the suspension of student activities for two weeks. 

Several students informed Ahram Online that they were surprised by the announcement because a quiz planned for Wednesday was still due to go ahead.

The university informed Negm’s family, who are out the country, of her death, and handed the driver over to the police for questioning.

New Cairo prosecution has begun an investigation into the death. The prosecution has ordered the detention of the suspected driver for four days pending investigation.

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