The custodial staff decided to take action last Wednesday following October salary deductions by the administration. Barely able to get by on EGP 650, the last thing they needed was a further deduction.
The students body, for the greater part, has been in solidarity with the workers, but is it really genuine empathy?
With frustration and anger looming in the air, the workers are demanding a minimum salary of EGP 1,200, the cancellation of the cafeteria and food program (they want an EGP 200 monthly stipend/compensation), and Saturdays to be counted as overtime or given as a day off.
On Thursday morning, an unidentified student sent a Blackberry message urging students to litter the campus in the hopes of pressuring university administrators to cave in to custodial staff demands. Some students complied with the message, and within a few hours, AUC was turned into a garbage dumping ground. Washrooms were vandalized with faeces and urine on the floors and walls.
Mark Tusay, a graduate student studying at AUC, wrote the following guest commentary on his impressions of the staff strike and student reaction.
Starting next spring, the AUC community will have the chance to purchase vegetables planted by student volunteers at below market prices.
Tina Jaskolski, a research coordinator at the the Desert Development Centre (DDC), says having students plant crops is part of an initiative in association with the Green Hands club to provide sustainability to the AUC community.
The first batch of crops includes eight different types of vegetables - herbs, onions, potatoes, eggplants, carrots, pepper, tomatoes and lettuce.
Media advocacy groups have been alarmed by the recent shutting down of 12 private TV stations for allegedly inciting religious extremism, and say the closures come at a critical time for freedom of the press.
Some 20 other satellite broadcast stations have been handed license violation warnings.
These developments, taking place in quick succession, have raised concerns among some journalists that they are designed to curb news dissemination. With parliamentary elections just weeks away, media professionals are questioning whether these new regulations will significantly curb the free press in Egypt.
The rising importance of materialism in contemporary Egyptian society was cited as a factor contributing to Egypt’s marriage crisis during a panel discussion last week.
“Gawezni Shokran” (Get me married, thank you), part of the Cairo International Model Arab League (CIMAL) Awareness Program campaign, sought to identify the key issues which this country’s youth face when looking to tie the knot.
Said Sadek, a sociology professor, reviewed how the culture of marriage has evolved over the past 60 years.