Protests over university security persist

Students demonstrating against security measures at Athens University withdrew from its main premises Thursday but another group of students padlocked the gates of the institution’s School of Philosophy in protest.

The protest at the philosophy department was launched after the student union took a vote on Wednesday night. However, Kathimerini understands that just 516 of some 10,000 students that are union members took part in the ballot. Despite the lockout, several students and academics turned up at the university to voice their opposition to the action.

“We have a duty to deliver lectures,” said Mariza Fountopoulou, president of the philosophy department. “There is no point in discussing what is obvious. The Greek state pays me to teach and that is why I am at my job today.”

Together with another professor, Fountopoulou delivered a lecture to around 20 students in the department’s parking lot. Subjects included how the principle of university asylum was created.

Students opposing the plans of Athens University rector Theodoros Fortsakis for everyone but students, academics, administrative staff and invited guests to be barred from entering the institution’s grounds fear this will compromise the free exchange of ideas.

Administrative employees are also opposed to Fortsakis’s plans but are due to meet with the rector next week to discuss the issue.

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