AUC students close university gates for 2nd time to protest rising fees

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Sep 2012

Students of the American University in Cairo protesting increased tuition fees chain the university's gates for the second time; administration orders closure

Students stand outside one of main gates of the American University in Cairo, following the closure of the gates by students protesting rising tuition (Photo: Hossam Abdel-Gelil)

The gates of the American University in Cairo (AUC) were shut for a second time in a week early Thursday by a number of students protesting rising tuition fees.

Late Wednesday, the AUC Student Movement Facebook page circulated a message announcing it would shut the gates early Thursday, claiming to have gathered 2000 signatures in support of its decision.

This comes despite the AUC administration's circulation of an email message to the AUC community notifying them that the university would be functioning normally the following day.  

A senior business administration student told Ahram Online that since 7am the protesting students locked the gates with chains and did not allow anyone to enter, even staff, contrary to the first time the gates were shut on 13 September.

Some students could be seen, however, jumping over fences, attempting to enter the campus, as approximately 200 students stood at each of the university's gates.

The protesting students have set up umbrellas outside the campus for those prevented from access, protecting them from the sun.

The notice circulated by the university refuted any claims that students involved in shutting the gates 13 September were expelled. It mentioned, however, that five students have been suspended pending an investigation, charged with "obstructing access to the campus and infringing upon the rights of other students to receive the education to which they are entitled."

At approximately 10am Thursday, the university administration ordered the closure of the university citing that the attempt by students to block the university gates "has created a dangerous situation in the streets around the campus."


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