Cairo University students temporarily suspend sit-in

College students at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science announced on Thursday that they are temporarily suspending the sit-in they started earlier this week.

The faculty’s student union said in a short statement on Thursday the “sit-in is suspended for two days because of the weekend and so that the female students can go back to their governorates.” The union vowed to continue the sit-in which it said will take on “a different form, “involving escalatory steps.”

The reason for the sit-in is that that some students would have to wait over a month before being allowed into the university’s student housing. The student union called on students to boycott lectures because of the “unjust decision” on Monday. It then claimed that 70 percent of classes did not run and that most students and many of the academic staff responded to the call.

It stated that among the positive effects the decision was that the college administration agreed to provide the students who were in Cairo at the time with “very good housing.”

“But we did not get all of our rights, more than half of the students are still in their governorates,” the union said. After two days of boycotting lectures, the student union called for a sit-in inside the faculty’s building.

 On Wednesday, state-run news agency MENA cited a statement by the university’s administration stating that the university is offering the students access to the housing based on a schedule in which the students with the highest grades gain access to the housing first. The university administration added that some students from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences showed up demanding access to the housing on days other than the ones stated in the schedule “which violates the principles of equality and equal opportunity.”

In response the union asked if there is any justice to students having to travel to and from Cairo every day or having to pay for expensive housing in Cairo outside the university housing.

“We have only taken this stand and started a sit-in in college because students are deprived of their simplest rights,” the union said, adding that the decision to boycott lectures would be brought to an end but other escalatory steps would soon be announced.

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