Uni shut after security dispute

The University of Crete was yesterday declared to be closed by its senate after a group of left-wing students disrupted a debate regarding a security crackdown on local campuses. «Every time members of the university community use force to hinder the smooth operation of institutional organs, lessons will be suspended until further notice,» an announcement issued by the senate said. The move came after the students interrupted a session by the senate which was discussing entrusting the security on local campuses to a private security firm. Student unions had expressed their support for the scheme, which would not violate the principle of university immunity as the guards are private employees, not state security enforcers. Security has become a prime concern at the university following a string of thefts – chiefly of computer equipment – from faculty classrooms. Earlier this week, university professors had complained about the «desperate lack of security at faculties» and threatened to strike unless measures are taken. The senate, which has condemned «the anti-democratic activities of a small group of students» in the past, yesterday said «the despotism of minorities cannot be allowed to continue.» It was unclear yesterday how long the university would remain closed. «If this continues, it is quite possible that students will not have enough time to prepare for examinations – let them decide what they want,» a professor told Kathimerini. In a related development, there were tense scenes at the Goudi faculty of the Athens Medical School after students prevented professors from accessing laboratories. The students, who started a sit-in at the faculty on Wednesday, rebuffed a request by professors to continue their research while the sit-in was under way, provoking skirmishes. There were no reports of injuries.