The word that would best describe the current turmoil would be: Uncertain.
So far, here’s what’s happening regarding the planned tuition increase
- FAS and OSB students will pay around 7000 USD/semester
- FEA students will pay around 9000 USD/semester
- AUBites will pay for 15 credits instead of the current 12 credits, without a decrease in credit price
- If implemented, AUB will rival no other university in the Middle-East (when it comes to price)
- AUB Alumni have already protested this planned increase in front of President Dorman in Abu Dhabi
- The AUB budget for 2009-2010 was 253,834,000 USD
- Recent renovation and construction projects
- Readjusting to make AUB fees in-sync with AUD and AUC tuition fees
- Financial reformation to better provide financial aid
- Will the planned implementation include current students, or be restricted to new students?
- Will it begin as soon as the summer 2010 semester?
- Where is it exactly in the legislative process?
- The USFC is planning a massive protest at Main Gate on Wednesday May 19th, 2010 at 12:00PM
- The USFC is trying to organize itself with political and club leaders in AUB, to try to unite student efforts against this, unfortunately, unifying issue
- Left-leaning students are calling for a ‘student revolution’ similar to the 1974 campus unrest
- “The next day, approximately 1,000 students marched on campus, ostensibly at their own initiative, and they started shouting, “Occupation! Occupation!” as they reached Jessup Hall. Once the building was occupied, the march continued to the Agriculture Building and the Physics and Biology buildings which were occupied in the same manner. Although it was obvious that the Student Council was behind these moves, it denied the fact to the press. It is worth noting here that, on the previous day, students at Beirut University College (BUC) (now the Lebanese American University (LAU)) occupied university buildings after the failure of negotiations with the administration over an 8% tuition increase”
- “What was worth noting, and in fact admiring, was the efficiency with which the strike became institutionalized so that within two weeks the Student Council was in virtual control of the University. Under its leadership, the students had organized themselves into subcommittees, each of which having a specific function. Receiving their instructions from a Central Command, the Occupation Sub-Committees directly supervised the occupied buildings, each of these committees having a codename which would be used to pass instructions via the internal telephone network or via the megaphones. The Security Committees guarded the access points to the campus, controlled entries and patrolled the grounds. The Rations Committee supplied all the committees on duty with food and refreshments, sometimes donated by some restaurants on Bliss Street. The Media Committee, equipped with a mimeograph machine and typewriters was alone responsible for replying to official correspondence and issuing circulars. This committee also operated a small radio transmitter which broadcast over megaphones strategically placed around the campus, and it was frequently used in campaigns to harass the members of the AUB administration residing on campus”
- AUBites are infamous for not paying much attention to campus affairs, leaving it to a select few to keep watch on the student body’s interests
- Most of us have manucure and pedicure appointments on Wednesday, or need to get a tan in Riviegha
- Who cares if it won’t affect my own tuition?!
- I don’t want to protest with those idiots (idiots being those you do not agree with politically, whomever they may be)
- What will the protest really change?
- I’m afraid it will affect my financial aid status, or overall status at AUB
- The USFC consists of other political parties, which I do not want to support
- Imagine how many monthly BBM subscriptions you could buy with the multi-thousand dollar increase, so get involved
- Everyone will be too busy shouting and chanting to notice your slightly askew manucure or pedicure, and you’ll get a perfect tan, just wear a tank-top (and cheaper than Riviera)
- Who said it won’t affect your tuition? And even if it doesn’t, don’t you have a younger sister or brother? A younger cousin? Neighbor? Friend? who would want to go to AUB too?
- All those idiots want the same thing, so, does it really matter who you’re protesting with if it involves our tuition?
- We often believe all administrations are immune to pressure and prosecution, like our corrupt governments over the years, but AUB’s isn’t, and due responsibility has been assumed in the past, and there is no reason why it should not this time
- Freedom of speech and expression are pillars that hold AUB’s name high, we are not in a American University of Burma after all
- Who cares?! It’s YOUR tuition too…
- Protests are the most diplomatic and civilized ways of expression, and it would be a good place to start
- Protests, unfortunately, are all about numbers. So, if we’re a thousand, or 2 thousand students, then it will be more than 30% of the student body, a figure no Lebanese protest has ever truly accomplished (except on their respective media outlets)
- Protests are just the beginning, and being pressed on time with barely a couple of weeks of university left, escalation is always an option, though how and when and where, will of course need to be discussed, and kept off blogs such as this one (so they deliver their intended purpose)
The Moral of the 1200 words in this post:
Come protest with us all on Wednesday at 12. Miss your classes, cancel your other appointments, and make some time for an issue that has the potential to change AUB’s name and status to become the new luxury-university, a shameful blow to a basic human right of education, with no real excuse for a TWENTY FIVE PERCENT increase in tuition fees…