Take Back LAU Council 2013 Replies to Critical Comments

On Sunday the 3rd of November, 7:30 pm – mr. Tarek Kamel posted a very critical comment on the wall Take Back LAU Council 2013 Page.
Below is the official TBC reply:

Dear Mr. Tarek Kamel,

We admire your post which is first of all a significant implication of your willingness to discuss university issues rather than just dictate your own ideals, welcome aboard to the first base of our culture: dialogue. We are happy to have heard your concerns, please read below our response:

1) The LAU student council should theoretically, be representing students’ interests solely and not that of political parties. It is therefore important to note that electoral campaigns should not be tailored around political slogans but only around student concerns and needs, especially when the student organizations are investing in their parties’ names only to make it to the chairs, resulting in a council, as is usual in Lebanon – DEADLOCKED. During the previous years, students on campus had limited options to choose from, which resulted most of the time in their abstention of elections, yet the mistaking of a “person who prefers not to vote” to an “apathetic” individual. The clear proof of what we are stating is the fact that only around 50% of LAU students ON BOTH CAMPUSES actually vote, now here’s a question, are you implying that the rest are speechless in astonishment? Or do they have nothing to say? 2) Kindly note that our candidates are “Alternative Candidates” and not just “Independent” (political correctness is an asset). Alternative stands for someone beyond independent; it stands for someone independent from political party affiliations while in the same time representing a valid student-oriented agenda aimed at improving the campus-life and the student-institution relationship (Wiki-Link). The latter being said, the CSC should not only stand for improving cafeteria and parking, its goes to the limit of protecting the students against the violation of their civic rights and THEIR in-dependency from any organization that controls their lives on campus, be it whatever it may be. Almost every student working on this campaign has been previously involved in campus-life activities, from clubs, to outreach, and even previous elections campaigns, and many of those same students came to understand the real flaws of the system in university; Taking Back the Council is not only aimed at winning elections, we have started working before elections and we will continue working even if we don’t get enough votes to speak in the council.

3) During the last few years there has been an exponential increase in tuition fees and there was not a single solid movement from the student council that would at least get the university administration to even talk to students, until a group of independent students stood up to voice the demands of policy reconsideration (4500 signatures). Important Note: the University was more receptive to our independent movement more than it was actually responsive to the Council. We never said that STFI was our own work alone, but all who were affiliated in the campaign are fully-aware of who gave in their hearts to keep the campaign going, and who were just there for Facebook profile pictures. 4) Stop Tuition Fees Increase is only one dot on our agenda which involves policies and recommendations to improve each and every department in LAU. Our Agenda includes everything that should have been done before, but was never considered from previous student councils, who – by the way – take their utmost pride in offering previouses of exams and improving cafeteria spaces (FYI: parking cost around LAU Beirut Campus ranges between 10,000 to 15,000 Lebanese Liras per day, we are students, you know, not all of us are sleeping on unlimited bank accounts, with all due respect to the more fortunate amongst us – and this is only one example).

5) We all know what student councils are capable of achieving, when functioning properly and in a student-oriented maneuver, defending the rights of students and working on improving student lives. In conclusion, we are not the ones who show up to campus with unified clothing and party-like appeals. We are not the ones who start their rally under sectarian and political identities disguised in student coalitions. We are not the ones who include the sectarian affiliations on our student lists. We are not the ones who prejudge every single person encountered on and around campus. We speak on behalf of all those who have not been voting in LAU because they are unpleased by the political practice on campus, those whom, if they had voted, political parties would not have made it half-way. We are aware that parties have their supporters on campus, and we are not against that. However, what we are against is the repulsive attitude of the latter to accept a new-spirit on campus, one that doesn’t approve of their work, doesn’t like their approach, and on top of all, is offering an Alternative Solution. We are not financially funded by anyone, and we are not even supported by anyone except for the students who believe in us. We are only the students who have not been represented properly, yet.

NB. Kindly refrain from spamming the wall by posting the same thing more than once.

Regards Take Back LAU Council 2013 Team –