AUC Front: We Stand United for the Rights of the Community
A new AUC-based group has come to the fore to expose corruption and represent the community, one of its representatives has told The Caravan. But the group says it has chosen to remain anonymous for the time being.
The AUC Front’s newly-formed accounts on Twitter and Facebook published leaked documents last week revealing some of AUC’s finances, including salaries of members of the senior administration, finances for ‘celebration’ ceremonies, invoices for purchases and other financial information.
The Front also publishes information from anonymous professors and staff on AUC’s finances, mostly speculation of why the university is currently in budgetary deficit.
But the Front’s representative, who insisted on remaining anonymous, says the group is not trying to rally “against the administration.”
“We are a group of people who felt there is a polarization between the students, staff, faculty and administration,” the representative said. “All we want is to stand united for the community rights.”
“We are facing a crisis and our aim is to send a positive message to the AUC community.”
The Front has also in recent days published information regarding several individuals and institutions that donate to AUC, including Mansour Amer Group, a leading Egyptian tourism company whose CEO used to be a prominent member of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party. Another donor discussed on the Front’s Facebook page is Lockheed Martin, a major American aeronautics and arms manufacturer.
According to the Front’s representative, they have had access to this information for over a year, but were waiting to try and reach an agreement with the Board of Trustees before leaking the documents to the public.
“Our issues are with the Board, not the senior administration,” the representative said, “This is something that most of the AUC community does not know. It is the Board that allocates these salaries and the Board that determines how the finances will be distributed.”
The Front has confirmed that the AUC senior administration is aware of their Facebook page.
“If any of our information is wrong, it can be corrected by a statement from them. But none of our documents is false.”
The Front say that social media has made their work feasible and accessible to many.
“Everyone is sitting behind their laptops and mobile phone. They have access to social media at all times, and it is the current playing field,” the representative said. “Everyone is there to voice their opinion and to discuss the issues at hand.”
Although they have yet to attract a considerable following - 427 Facebook subscribers and 193 Twitter followers so far – their published leaks have been causing controversy, perhaps even, unexpectedly, student criticism.
Hossam Muhammad, a construction engineering student, commented on the leaked statement of revenue for the year 2010, saying that a copy of AUC’s costs is needed to effectively compare and contrast.
The Front published the statement with the caption, “
“What if costs [equal] revenue?” Hossam says.
“Get the amount of costs in the same year and compare to know if there is net profit and whether this net profit - if it exists - was transferred to the next budget’s revenue or not.”
The representative stands by the veracity of the documents saying that any doubters can wait for a statement from the administration to deny them.
Nevertheless, the Front’s actions are unprecedented in a society that has been used to lack of transparency and much secrecy.
Reham Morsy, an actuarial science sophomore, said that the AUC Front was doing a good job of “exposing corruption whether “inside or outside the AUC community”.