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NDU and USJ suspend student elections

BEIRUT | / NNA - October 30, 2014, 16h03
Notre Dame University- Louaize and Saint Joseph University (USJ) have decided to suspend student elections for this current year after political disputes between students at NDU.
On Thursday Notre Dame University and Saint Joseph University decided to suspend student elections for this year following altercations between students at Notre Dame University on Wednesday.

Students affiliated with Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement were involved in a brawl on Wednesday after trying to erect electoral banners at the main NDU campus in Zouk Mosbeh.

“The political and security situation in Lebanon, which could impact the campus... will not allow the students to practice their democratic role positively,” USJ board of members said in a statement, reported by Naharnet.

The FPM boycotted student election three years ago and the elections were to be the first since then. In a statement the FPM called Wednesday’s incident a “clear assault by students affiliated to the LF against the FPM students, who were erecting banners that call for boycotting the elections.”

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea denounced the scuffles, saying the incident doesn't “suit our society.”
However, he called on the USJ to reconsider its decision to suspend the student elections.

NDU Vice president for public affairs, Souheir Matar, was quick to remind the press that only a minority of students participated in these brawls.

“Among the 7,500 students at NDU, 20 to 30 students can easily distort the university’s image,” he said.

The administration has pledged to carry out the necessary investigation to reveal “those who were behind the chaos and who participated in it.”

On Thursday USJ decided to follow suit because of the unstable political climate in the country. “The board considers the political and security situation in the country, which have repercussions inside the campus, to be unsuitable for organizing such elections,” a statement by the board of directors said.

Army soldiers are usually dispatched at university entrances during student elections as campus violence is a common occurrence.
#Lebanese_students, #students, #Universities
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