Statement Concerning the Suspension of LAU Students

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yesterday students peacefully organized a strike at the Lebanese American University (LAU) after the administration dismissed their petition, containing over 4,500 names, refusing to address this year’s dramatic tuition increase. Rather than respect freedom of speech or engage in civic dialogue, 4 students were suspended on the grounds that “the organizers psychologically pressured professors, pushing them to support the strike and stop classes for one hour.”[1] These acts baldly expose the administration’s disregard for promoting LAU as a space for higher learning as suppressing free thought is apparently an acceptable practice for those who question.

No Frontiers admires and supports the students who courageously stood up for their rights yesterday. Criticism surrounding tuition increase goes beyond transparency of fiscal expenditures, just as higher education goes beyond receiving a mere diploma. This is an issue of structured exploitation cheapening the academic experience by perpetuating a punitive culture meant to sway those who refuse the status quo. The acts yesterday were about self- realizing new ways of being, an inherent human quality universities are suppose to cultivate, not subvert.  Is LAU’s administration so lacking in innovative resolution? Are they so threatened by student civic engagement their first reaction is to silence it? Other tactics, more dignified and more creative, are to be expected from academia. LAU ADMINISTRATION, YOUR STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER.

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