Yannik Maximilian Schneider 900101819 14.9.2011 Assignment Rhet 201 First draft Strike at AUC – a personal statement Sitting in the library in a country, which proudly considers itself as a newborn democracy, I write this paper, while hearing protest chants going on for the last hour. Chants sang by students refusing to pay the increased tuition and workers demanding for an increase in their salary. To reduce that to simple economic terms from the American University’s point of view: On the hand they are demanded to decrease the major part of the approximated income and on the other hand to increase the costs in the human resources sector. To analyze the appropriate reaction by the university’s administration, one has to analyze both workers and student demands separately, since they are contradicting each other from the general economic magnitude. On the third of July the administration sent an e-‐mail to every enrolled student, which announced that for the next semester the tuition fee will be increased by nine percent. The official reason for this is the decreased revenue from international students, based on their high drop out rate in the course of the Egyptian revolution.
This caused a negative balance in the universities financial planning, now to be compensated through an increase in tuition this semester. Concerning this part of the strike the questions, which have to be imposed, should be: -‐Do there exist other fields, where saving cost might result in balanced finances and what would be the impacts on university life? -‐Since the loss is non-‐recurring, why should there be a general and constant increase in tuition, whether a one-‐time payment might be more appropriated? -‐To which degree does the university support students and their families, when they are no longer able to pay the tuition? The other major demands of the protesters do come from the AUC workers. Contrary to the students they don’t want to pay less to AUC they demand higher salaries. The issue of an adequate salary for the workers has already been discussed several times in the last year before and after the revolution. Based on the experiences in the revolution, the mentality of expressing and accomplishing demands through demonstrations is a much more wide spread phenomena in the Egyptian society. Questions to be answered about the worker’s demands are: -‐Are they paid properly, concerning the minimal wage of 1200 L.E. and/or the average wage in Egypt? -‐Would an increase in wages result in a decrease in staff?
-‐Is the difference in salary levels between the different levels of the staff justifiable? -‐Shouldn’t the American University be in a role model position for employee treatment? Nevertheless should one not to forget that, assuming the university executes a decent financial policy, two independent groups demand the university to save and spent an immense amount of money. In my opinion the most logical way to solve this problem is to establish a committee composed out of representatives delegated by the students, workers, administration and independent ones. This committee should have full access to the financial data of the AUC and figure out the imposed questions as well as a plan based on the findings.
Assignment for Rhet 201