A week after the outbreak of violence at Misr International University (MIU), students and administration find themselves at an impasse.
Students have organized a sit-in in front of the main administration building demanding the resignation of Hamdy Hassan, Vice President of Student Affairs, and the drafting of new bylaws outlining the grounds on which students may be expelled. The administration is refusing to engage in dialogue with students or resume classes until the sit-in is disbanded, according to Student Union member Inji Mohammed.
“Both sides are being very stubborn,” Mohammed said. “The Student Union is trying to get both to compromise a bit.”
The sit-in itself has not been disruptive, Mohammed said, with as few as 15 students on campus at any given time. The majority of students are supportive of the ongoing demonstrations, according to student protester Haleem Elshaa’rani.
Some students due to graduate in May have begun collecting signatures asking the administration to allow classes to resume, Mohammed said.
University faculty released an official statement expressing their regret that all studies have been temporarily suspended but that they would assist students in covering the content they have missed once a “proper learning environment” is restored.
Faculty members also expressed solidarity with the university in its decision not to comply with “unlawful student demands”. They condemned the outbreak of violence on the university’s campus, calling it an extension of the violence that has permeated the country in recent years, and called on parents to engage with faculty members in discussing the situation.
Students have begun dialogues with a representative of the Ministry of Higher Education regarding their demands, student Abdusalam Nashat said. The MIU administration has also been invited to participate.
MIU administration could not be reached for comment.