Students who were accused of violating university regulations during the strike in September were charged accordingly by the administration based on their respective cases and the violations they were found of breaking.
Student Union Vice President Ahmed Ezzat told The Independent about what happened with his case in particular and how things were handled during the strike: “We (the students) thought that nobody would get any cases and everything would be fine, but it turned out that we were too excited.”
According to Ezzat, there had been 30 or more cases filed against the students. When the final results came out after the hearings, punishments ranged from sessions on anger management and freedom of expression to putting people under social probation and giving students hours of community service.
Ezzat told The Independent about his personal case: “I went to my hearing, the whole committee was there, and they started asking me questions. Then they started talking to me generally about the strike.”
He explained that the committee was composed of some professors and one student judicial board (SJB) member.
When asked about the accusations he faced, Ezzat elaborated that a member of the committee explained that many professors and their classes were “disrupted by the strike because (the students) were walking too close to the classes and (their) voice was too loud, so this was interrupting classes, so they’d have to be punished.”
Ezzat told of how he defended his case, telling the committee that the strike was not a “normal situation.” Ezzat claims that his actions were “civilized” and that “he didn’t break anything” or do anything that is “extremely wrong.”
He claimed that the members of the committee saw him as a leader in the strike, and therefore blamed the violations of others on him. “
After all the explanations and talking, they reached (the decision) that everything was fine. They couldn’t catch me of any other violations, because we did nothing that is considered violent, so they assigned me freedom of expression sessions,” he says.
The current freedom of expression policy, which was revised earlier last semester, states that university entities can stake a strike or a protest as long as it does not disrupt classes, cause damage to university property, or obstruct the way to the university of uninvolved parties. It also states that those planning to stage such a demonstration should inform security personnel in case events got out of control.
Youssef Korma, a physics junior and another student who was cased for the role he allegedly played in the strike, told about his accusations.
During his hearing, “(the committee) showed me a video saying I pushed a security guard, but I didn’t. (Security) were trying to close Gate 4 and it was the only gate open, so some students including myself tried to prevent them from doing so. That was the first accusation.”
“The second was pushing a (parked) truck inside the campus. This truck was blocking access to campus and when I asked an official about parking, he said that this truck broke down and they couldn’t move it. We students decided to move it and when I asked him what they were going to do about it, he said he had to leave now for a meeting,” he elaborates.
“I was asked to come before a committee and tell them my story, which I did. They accused me of being violent and taking matters into my own hand and I told them that sometimes, you have to take matters in your own hands when you see something wrong,” he explained.
Korma received 50 hours of community and must also attend workshops on freedom of expression.