Page 1

Portfolio  RHET  201       By  Yannik  Maximilian  Schneider     900101819   19.  December  2011   Instructor  Michael  Gibson  

                           

1


RHET 201 - Research Writing –Fall 2011 Research Writing – these words were the only things I could refer to when I first entered the classroom this semester, even though the term “Research Writing” was more a vague expectation of what is coming up then a specific idea. The only thing I knew for sure was that this course being a requirement to finally declare myself journalism major in the next semester. Now three months, around 8000 written words and plenty of hours practicing various research methods later, I can proudly say – I have a really precise idea of research writing, even though it seems that all this was more a preparation than the actual thing I feel prepared for future research writing. This course gave me the feeling that I finally arrived at a high academic level of addressing scientific topics. I could choose my own topic to focus on and more or less my own way of dealing with it. I spoke with professors, gathered sources, prepared surveys and wrote my own research paper, if this what it means to be a student I am looking forward to it. This writing experience is also quite different to the journalistic writing I am used to and I was really surprised how different it felt to really dig deep into a topic gather a broad knowledge of it and produce something. I also have to admit, that I often had to realize how bordered my English skills still are and wished plenty of times to just have a perfect translating machine making it possible to write in German – but that how one improves and next time Incha Allah it will be easier. The portfolio is structured according to the importance of the papers. Obviously I started with the “research paper” followed by my responds to Joselyn Doss’s paper. After that I included two papers concerning the AUC strike in the beginning of the semester. The first one is the original assignment and the second an analysis of the final outcome of the strike. The last paper attached is the first piece of work for RHET 201 an elaborated form of my spontaneous thoughts about the terms “hope” and “fear”. I am not a big fan of half finished work and work in process; therefore I did not include the intermediate steps of the final papers I included. I would argue that the portfolio has a higher aesthetic value without all these incomplete work pieces. Thank you for your encouragement, help and advising throughout the semester Professor Gibson! It was a pleasure!

Best, Max  

2


Table of  Content:     Page  Number    

Content

1

Cover sheet  

2

Cover letter  

3

Table of  Content  

4-­‐24

Research Paper:  Gasoline subventions in Egypt - The necessity of change   Response  to  the  research  paper  “Should Interfaith Marriages be Avoided?” by Joselyn Doss  

25-­‐26 27-­‐29   30-­‐31   32  

Strike at  AUC  –  a  personal  statement     A  conclusion  of  the  AUC  strike  and  an  analysis   of  the  final  outcome     “Hopes  and  Fears”  

                 

3


Yannik Maximlian  Schneider     Research  paper     Mike  Gibson   18.  November  2011     Gasoline subventions in Egypt - The necessity of change The history of subsidies to energy products in Egypt reaches back to the early beginnings of fossil resource consumption. Since fossil resources are one of the key determinates to encourage consumption and reduce production costs significantly, these subsidies as price controlling policies have been important contributors to Egypt’s economic growth in the last centuries. (www.egyptoil-gas.com) Egypt as a self supplier and exporter of natural gasoline was able to satisfy its own demand, with gasoline prices significantly lower than the world price, as well as still earning decent revenue by selling the production surplus on the world market. Even though gasoline subventions were useful in the past decades the failure in readjusting the prices, in order to balance the high increase in population growth and the reaching of the peak exploitation (see table 1a and table 2a) resulted in major problems – still Egypt is the country with the third lowest gas price in the whole world.

4


Table 1a)

Table  2a)  

Those major problems are significant financial deficits, encouragement of energy inefficiency and the support of the critical traffic situation. In 2010 the former Egyptian Minister for Finances Sameh Fahmy stated: "Subsidies in petroleum and natural gas products have grown to unsustainable levels

5


which form a significant burden on the petroleum sector." He also announced that the cost of the various subsidy programs maintained by the government are equal to more than a third of the general government spending. Particularly the gasoline prices are part of this cost factor.( www.af.reuters.com) Reasons for the development of this problematic situation are a rapid increase in population, which caused the domestic consumption to exceed the domestic production and the high growth of world price compared to the slow increase of domestic prices. (Business Monitor) Therefore the gasoline subvention policy now results in a significant deficit in state finances as well as immense externality cost(measure of the costs of the other negative side effects for society caused by gasoline consumption). In the report “Egypt - toward a more effective social policy: subsidies and social safety net” an estimated number of 38.5 billion LE is given as the in all cost for the government. It is also concluded; that the Egyptian economy reached the critical point of overall costs being much higher than the overall benefits. (The World Bank) Based on an economical policy making rules the amount of gasoline subsidies is impossible to justify, which underlines the urgent necessity of change. Not only economic numbers show the grievance caused by the Egyptian gas prices, but also the current low prices encourage high energy inefficiency, which leads to a high burden on the environment (The World Bank), as well as an unacceptable traffic situation. According to the paper “Untold billions: Fossil-Fuel subsidies, their impacts and the path to reform” a decrease of subsidies could result in a decrease of up to 20 percent of the co2 emission. (The Global Subsidies Initiative) Regarding the traffic, one major problem is that the incentive to switch from an old gasoline-wasting vehicle to a new hybrid vehicle is simply not given. One rather stays

6


with the old one, since the incentive of saving money thanks to smaller gasoline consumption does not exist. As well as the choice between a new energy wasting or a new fuel saving one is currently not influenced by energy efficiency considerations. Even though there are other key factors related to the Egyptian traffic, the determination of gasoline as a cost factor for car owners encourages the use of old transport vehicles equipped with old or non functional safety systems, driving with high speed and a high traffic emergence. Egypt is with 41.6 traffic deaths per 100 000 population the country with the highest traffic related death rate in the whole world. (Murray) The high traffic emergence and the thereby caused traffic jams in the capital Cairo do lead to an immense time loss, what is reflected by high inefficiency. In fact the forced low gasoline price erases every incentive to include the question of energy efficiency in decision-making processes. Solving this undesirable situation by constraining the aftermaths of at least a decade of wrong policy making, should be one of the main agenda points in future policy making - one might assume. However the political reaction on the self-inflicted grievances is utterly non-existent. The fact that Egypt is currently in an exceptional situation and major policy changes like the reduction of gasoline subvention normally require a well working government, can be accepted as a short term excuse. Nevertheless there have to be changes in the long term, otherwise the burden of the subventions will become impossible to handle for the Egyptian state in the nearer future. Unfortunately the decrease of subsidies normally goes along with an intensive resistance of the population. People got used to the lower price levels and the sudden increase often causes harsh

Â

7 Â


criticism on the responsible. Therefore the possibility that future Egyptian governments dare to weaken their already critical position, by offending the public with increased prices, is quite unlikely. One of the main reasons for the negative perception of gasoline price increasing policies is that they seem to increase social injustice. The standard impression is that those policies affect the poorer parts of the population more than the richer parts. On the other hand is the benefit out of equally shared subsidies, like today’s gasoline subsidies in Egypt, which is much higher for those with higher capital, since the lower revenue groups rely more on the usage of the public transport system and the higher revenue groups rely on the usage of private cars. Especially in Egypt the usage of cars with high gasoline consumption and the ownership of more than one car per family, as well as the complete avoidance of the public transport system is quite popular among the high revenue groups. Then again it is undeniable that higher gasoline price will cause an increase in transportation costs, which again will require a higher percentage of smaller monthly salaries. This is the point, where the government should increase investment according to the decrease in subsidies. Possible measures could be the development of the public transport system (construction of additional metro lines, increasing of the amount of buses, subsidies on train tickets) or a direct payment to lower income groups. The fact that seems to be disregarded or doubted is that through the credit by reducing the government expenditures in the subsidies, new financial resources will be available. Those resources can and should be used to balance out appearing disadvantages for the population.

Â

8 Â


Considering these we can conclude, that the decrease in subvention would decrease environment pollution, relax the traffic problems, increase the revenue of the state, have a positive economical outcome and balance an area of predominant social injustice. Still this change in policymaking is not to be found on any political agenda in Egypt. The only explanation is the potential risk of reducing the chance to be elected by displeasing the voting public. Unfortunately the expected negative perception of a gasoline price increase seems to be the reason why politicians hesitate to make this policy effectual. Nevertheless it is basically unavoidable to decrease the subsidies at one point. Since this decrease could be a benefit for every part of the society the main objective should be the sensitizing of the society towards the decrease and its benefits. To solve the misery of policymakers, one has to elucidate the people and point out the need as well as the positive outcome of the policy. Therefore the elasticity of the domestic demand and the general response to education measures is an essential area to be researched. Results from this research could provide the policy maker with information about the need of further sensitization and the consequences of expedient price changes. Another part of the research requires the elaboration of the opinion change in society, according to the level of conveyed knowledge of the actual meaning and impacts of a subsidy decrease. Therefore the surveys should be composed out of two independent parts. The first part should question the opinions, feelings and reactions towards higher gasoline prices, if they would be put into power without any further explanation. The second part should include a short introduction, explaining the negative and positive impacts of a decrease in gasoline

Â

9 Â


subvention and then demand the participants to answer the same question from the first part again. Given this data it should be possible to conclude the current perception of a decrease in subsidies and the influence of information providing measures on the public opinion making process. In the end one might be able to conclude, if it is possible to establish policy changes with the support of the society. In case of a complete denial of the subsidy decrease, one should at least be able to identify the most critical areas and thereby adjust the new policy. Therefore main objective of the research is answering the question, whether educational advertising for a subsidy decrease would lead to a higher acceptance among the Egyptian people towards such policy making. The research was done with a survey (attached at the end), which is subdivided in 2 parts. The first part is giving a general introduction to subventions in Egypt followed by four questions examining the opinions towards current gasoline prices and reactions towards potential changes. The second part introduces a short summary of the positive side effects resulting out of a decrease in subsidies, which had been discussed in the beginning of this paper. After this example of educational advertising has been presented to the interviewees, they had to answer the four questions from part 1 of the survey again. The research was carried out at the Campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the district Dar El Salam (DEL) in Cairo. Those areas were chosen to make the research as representative as possible. Interviewees at AUC most likely received better education and should be adjusted to the high-income part of the Egyptian population to be contrasted by the interviewees in DEL, which more or less resemble the

Â

10 Â


medium- and low-income groups in Egypt. Overall 113 surveys have been carried out to facilitate the analysis 12 surveys from AUC and 1 survey from DEL have been randomly excluded, therefore the data analyzed is composed of 50 surveys from AUC and 50 surveys from DEL. The different sets of surveys from the AUC and DEL will be analyzed independently from each other and then compared. In the analysis the answers without the educational advertisement will be referred to as set 1 and the questions from the second part of the survey (interviewee already read the information part) as set 2. The questions will be analyzed one after another in the numerical order, the analysis will be composed of the evaluation of set 1-DEL, set 1AUC, set 2-DEL, set 2-AUC and than followed by a general interpretation of the answers.

Â

11 Â


Question 1: In your opinion the current gasoline prices in Egypt are 1) Set 1-DEL

2) Set 1-AUC

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0 too  high   good  as   too  low   they  are  

too high   good  as   too  low   they  are  

3) Set 2-DEL

4) Set 2-AUC

50

40

40

30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0

too high   good  as   too  low   they  are  

too high   good  as   too  low   they  are  

The comparison of the charts 1 and 2 shows that the educational and financial background is not related to the opinion towards gasoline prices. Regarding the fact that

12


the Egyptian gasoline prices with 0.65$ per gallon are among the lowest around the whole world, the high satisfaction with the price is not really surprising. The more interesting point is that in both groups around 20% of the interviewees answered with “too high”. As discussed earlier is it really rare that the consumers support higher gasoline prices, in this case almost 20% admitted that the prices are too low. This shows that parts of the population are already aware of the difficulty going along with too high gasoline prices. Assuming that through the information part of the survey the percentage of people being aware increased from the original 20% to 100%, we observe that the acceptance increased up to around 80%. Another noticeable point is that more interviewees from 3) Set 2-AUC, responded with “good as they are” compared to the interviewees from 4) Set 2-DEL, who were more likely to answer with “too high”. This might show a weakness in the survey, which will be addressed later. Question 2: If the government would announce an increase in gasoline prices. You reaction towards that policy change would be 5) Set 1-DEL

6) Set 1-AUC

I support  it   strongly  

I support  it   strongly  

I support  it    

I support  it    

I oppose  it    

I oppose  it    

I oppose  it   strongly    

I oppose  it   strongly    

   

13


7) Set 2-DEL

8) Set 2-AUC

I support  it   strongly  

I support  it   strongly  

I support  it    

I support  it    

I oppose  it    

I oppose  it    

I oppose  it   strongly    

I oppose  it   strongly    

Compared to question 1 we may observe a disagreement between the answering manner of the AUC sets and the DEL sets, even though the question 1 and question 2 don’t differ too much in content. In question 2 the terms “government” and “policy” were chosen on purpose with the ulterior motive of connecting the actual process and the executing responsible in the mind of the interviewees. Evaluating the answers keeping this in mind, one observes a more moderate and positive perception of the question in 6) Set 1-AUC and 8) Set 2-AUC contrasted by a rather critical and negative perception in 5) Set 1-DEL and 7) Set 2-DEL. Another distinctive feature is that, even though the information part was already given, the number of interviewees answering with “I oppose it strongly” remained comparatively high in 7) Set 2-DEL and 8) Set 2-AUC. This again  

14


might show a weakness in the survey, but regarding this distinctive aberration one might assume, that the inclusion of the government drives people to be more critical and more difficult to convince. If this is the case, it is a really important observation, since the government will be the executive responsible for the decrease in subsidies and this will be executed by a policy. Therefore can this question be seen a direct reference to the procedure of subsidies decreases in reality. Question 3: Which income groups would be more affected by a decrease in subsidies?

9) Set 1-DEL

25

40

20 15  

20

10 5  

0 Higher   All   Lower   income   equally   income   groups   affected   groups  

11) Set 2-DEL

10) Set 1-AUC

0 Higher   All   Lower   income   equally   income   groups   affected   groups  

12) Set 2-AUC

15


30

30

20

20

10

10

0

0 Higher   All   Lower   income   equally   income   groups   affected   groups  

Higher All   income   equally   groups   affected  

Lower income   groups  

The comparison between 9) Set 1-DEL and 10) Set 1-AUC surprisingly indicates the assumption, that the probands from both groups agree in expecting the lower income groups to be more affected. This conforms the statement made earlier in this paper, that most of the people have the misconception of higher gasoline prices penalizing the poorer more than the richer parts of the society. Another general conclusion from this data is that after the education advertising part people tend to shift their opinion towards “Higher income groups”. So the information provided caused a revise of opinions by approximately 50% of the probands. Still a rather high ratio expects a stronger effect on low-income groups in 11) Set 2-DEL and 12) Set 2-AUC. Question 4: What effect do you think a decrease in subsidies would have on the general economic performance of the Egyptian economy? 13) Set 1-DEL

14) Set 1-AUC

16


30

20

20

15 10  

10

5

0

0 Positive   No  Effect   Negative  

Positive No  Effect   Negative  

15) Set 2-DEL

16) Set 2-AUC

30

40 30  

20

20

10

10

0

0 Positive  

No Negative   Effect  

Positive No  Effect   Negative  

The responses in the first sets 13) Set 1-DEL and Set 1-AUC are completely oppositional. This means, that the interviewees in DEL and the interviewees at AUC must have opposing concepts of the influence of gasoline prices on the economy. The differentiation between the AUC set and DEL set was used to include high- or low educational background in the considerations. Applying this on these two sets particularly, one can observe the crucial misunderstandings of economic process among the less educated DEL interviewees. This especially shows how important information sharing with every part of the society is to ensure the right understanding of policies. If one compares 15) Set 2-DEL and 16) Set 2-AUC with

13) Set 1-DEL and 14) Set 1-

AUC one can observe the impact of providing information.

17


Evaluating the research in the whole one notices a positive relation between the providing of information and interviewees choosing the answer supporting the imposition of decreasing subsidies in every question. In question 1,2 and 3 one discovers, that even though the AUC set and the DEL set were answered by people with completely contradicting social backgrounds, the answers allocation was not to different in Set 1-DEL and Set 1-AUC. The answer allocation aligned even more after the educational advertisement was provided by the survey. The only exception for this behavior is question 4. Question 4 is related to judgment of economic processes and the economic influence of subsidy on markets, which was explained in this paper before. These conceptions are normally taught at a university level and can definitely not be assigned to general knowledge. Again one observes the aligning of answer allocation between 15) Set 2-DEL and 16) Set 2-AUC compared to the answer sets before the educational advertising was provided. This demonstrates that, if the knowledge towards the topic is on an equal level (AUC interviewees and the DEL interviewees could refer to the information given in the survey), both groups will answer in the same manner. Another interesting fact can be concluded out of 3) Set 2-DEL and 4) Set 2-AUC compared to 7) Set 2-DEL and 8) Set 2-AUC. Question 1 addressed the issue of high gasoline prices in a more theoretical form, while question 2 referred to the actual execution of a decrease in subventions. Given this, one is able to recognize that people are more likely to accept higher gasoline prices when the information is provided without

Â

18 Â


relating it to government and policies. Two possible conclusions can be developed out of this: First – Egyptians get more radical when the government is included in topics the Egyptian people have to judge about. Second - People accept that higher gasoline prices would be useful, but as soon this theory will be executed as a policy, so to say transformed from theory to reality, their acceptance decreases. While discussing question 1 I mentioned that there might be some weaknesses in the survey. One major problem, which can be seen in all the set-2 charts, are the people, who felt tricked by the information supply and responded with defiance. Due to the fact that the survey is in paper form and the necessity of minimizing the expenditure of time for the interviewees, the information part was created rather short and relies on the absolute acceptance of the interviewee. Answering question followed by a list of additional information, which might contradict the given answers and then again answering the same question, but feeling obliged to answer different this time, might have led to a counter reaction. A further issue is the group of people with already existing background knowledge about the topic. Parts of the AUC data were 8 surveys, showing the same answers in all 4 questions in set 1 and set 2. These answers the answers enforced to be given by the information part. That the 8 probands chose these answers in the first set indicates, that the information given afterwards in the education advertisement were already known to them, because of an economic studies background. Even though problems occurred and might had influences on the data, the overall result is clear enough to address the main objective of the research. All the data indicates

19


a positive relation between information providing and the acceptance towards a subsidies decrease. Meaning that after the educational advertising was received people are more likely to accept or even support policies that increase the gasoline by decreasing subventions. Egypt is currently in the problematic situation of having to high subsidies on the one hand and a population not accepting a decrease of subsidies on the other hand. According to this research, the Egyptian government could solve this dilemma by communicating the economic reasons to the population and providing them with information about the positive side effects of higher gasoline prices. Doing so, would lead to a higher acceptance of those policies and sensibilize the population for the decrease in subsidies.

Â

20 Â


Survey used: The gasoline subsidies became a major problem for the Egyptian state in the recent year. The cost of gasoline subsidies reached 10 percent of Egypt’s GDP and the gasoline consumption of the Egyptian population exceeded the Egypt’s gasoline production in 2007.

This survey is to measure the opinions towards increased gasoline prices and the effect of education provisions to increase public awareness of the positive effects

-­‐ for the sake of optimal information gathering the interviewee should work through the paper in the following order: o Answering questions of part 1 o Reading information part o Answering questions of part 2 Thank you!

Question Part 1

Question 1: In your opinion the current gasoline prices in Egypt are too high☐  

perfectly fine☐

too low☐

Question 2: If the government would announce an increase in gasoline prices. You reaction towards that policy change would be: I support it strongly ☐ I oppose it☐

I oppose it strongly ☐

I support it☐

21


Question 3: Which income group would be more affected by a decrease in subsidies? Higher income groups☐ lower income groups☐

equally affected☐

Question 4: What effect do you think a decrease in subsidies would have on the general economic performance of the Egyptian economy? Positive ☐

Negative

No Effect ☐

Part 2

This part is supposed to give you information about the assumed effects of a decrease in subsidies and the resulting increase in gasoline prices: Additional financial recourses for the government Those resources can be reinvested -In better infrastructure - A decrease in bus and train prices -Direct payments to lower income groups to balance out the increased transportation costs Gasoline as a price factor to consider will decrease traffic Reduction of traffic accidents (old high gasoline consuming cars will be less attractive to use) Higher energy efficiency

22


Question Part 2

Question 1: In your opinion the current gasoline prices in Egypt are too high☐  

perfectly fine☐

too low☐

Question 2: If the government would announce an increase in gasoline prices. You reaction towards that policy change would be: I support it strongly ☐ I oppose it☐

I support it☐

I oppose it strongly ☐

Question 3: Which income group would be more affected by a decrease in subsidies? Higher income groups☐ lower income groups☐

equally affected☐

Question 4: What effect do you think a decrease in subsidies would have on the general economic performance of the Egyptian economy? Positive ☐

Negative

23

No Effect ☐


Works cited Business  Monitor  international.  “Egypt  Business  Forecast  Report  –  Q2  2011  -­Life     After  Mubarak:  Now  Comes  The  Hard  Part”  (17.2.2011).  Page  1  and  43   “Egypt's  fuel  subsidies  seen  up  to  $13  bln-­‐oil  min”.  af.reuters.com.  Thomson  Reuters,   22.6.2011.  Internet.  27.10.2011   HSBC  Global  Research.  “Middle  East  Economics  Quarterly  Q2  2011”  (29.5.2011).             Page  26   Murray,  Dan.  www.thedatarevolution.com.  World  Health  Organization,  9.2.2011.   Internet.  25.10.2011   “Overview”.  www.egyptoil-­gas.com.  Energy  Information  Services.  Internet.   28.10.2011   The  Global  Subsidies  Initiative.  “Untold  billions:  Fossil-­Fuel  subsidies,  their  impacts   and  the  path  to  reform  -­The  Effects  of  Fossil-­Fuel  Subsidy  Reform:  A  review  of   modelling  and  empirical  studies”.  (March  2010).  Page  29   The  World  Bank.  “Egypt  -­  toward  a  more  effective  social  policy:  subsidies  and  social   safety  net”  (16.12.2005).  Page  43-­‐46                            

24


Response to  the  research  paper  “Should Inter-faith Marriages be Avoided?” by Joselyn Doss

What a wonderful reading experience this was! Before I start analyzing what made this such research paper so enjoyable for me, let me thank you for sharing this story and at the same time research with me! You did a wonderful job merging your own story with your research in the paper! The story part creates such a vivid picture of the issue, which is contrasted by the more theoretical issue concerning Inter-faith Marriages. The reader is not only given the legal and religious background, but can dive into the sentimental value, which in the end shows him the main issue of this topic. By including the different definitions of love based on your own experiences as well as the experiences of others, you appeal to the reader in a really impressive and beautiful manner. In the beginning I was a bit irritated by the fact, that actual data provided by questionnaires or surveys was not included in the paper. When I thought about it a bit longer, I figured that in fact the inclusion of charts and the analyses of number would be completely counterproductive for the ambience this paper is communicating. The structure of introducing the reader with you personal story, followed by the background in religious and legal terms, reaching the bottom of the discussion by

25


describing the actual essential points of the issue and then sharing of similar stories, slowly leads the reader through the topic and informs him well and creates an interesting ambiguous picture in the reader’s mind. What impresses me the most is that even though your point of view and feelings towards the topic are not unbiased at all, you still managed to always show both sides of the medal. It is really rare that one reads a paper with a bias writer, but the elaboration in the paper remains completely unbiased. Since my opinion towards this topic is already completely covered in the paper I would only summarize it with one sentence. Love is something magical; if you found that magic do not give up on it for any reasons you might regret it for the rest of your life! I from the bottom of my heart wish you two, that you will overcome the barriers if it is with or without the blessing of your families! Be proud of this research paper

Best Max              

26


14.9.2011 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?

27


-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?

28


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.                                 20.9.2011

29


A conclusion of the AUC strike and an analysis of the final outcome

I wrote the assignment “Strike at AUC – a personal statement” 6 days ago and I included various suggestions to align the demands of the students and workers with the interest of the AUC admission. Today AUC President Lisa Anderson addressed the AUC community with the presentation of agreements elaborated in meetings with parts of the administration, the syndicate, students and faculty members. The most important points addressed in those agreements are: -The university will enhance the budget transparency and will open detailed versions to the students -Students will be included in budget decisions -Increase in worker salaries and reduced working hours -Establishment of a permanent Labor Rights Oversight Committee -Attendance taken during classes in the past weeks was to be cancelled Referring to “Strike at AUC – A personal statement” : “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.”

30


This was my final conclusion and apparently were exactly those the measures to address the problems and come up with an agreement. Nevertheless one should not forget that there is a difference between agreeing on actions and the final execution. Only the upcoming weeks, months and semesters can show if the admission and Lisa Anderson are as good as their word. What stays is a demonstration of power shown by students and workers and a step away from pure university policy accepting towards independence. To say it in Jonathan Mayhew’s and Boston Tea Party terms: “No tuition without representation!”

sources: http://academic.aucegypt.edu/independent/?p=2868 http://www.aucegypt.edu/newsatauc/Pages/story.aspx?eid=724

         

31


Hopes and Fears Hopes and fears are probably the only feelings, which connects one’s current state of mind with your own future. In fact they are based on future outcomes of current and possible future happenings. Since the outcomes in the future can only be regarded as part of a set of possible outcomes they can never be a 100 percent determined. It is really rare that the future has a direct impact on one’s state of mind in the present, even though the concerned future outcome might never become real but remains being only a possibility. In short hopes and fears assume positive or negative outcomes, therefore cause us to fell accordingly in the present and finally might thereby change the future Time traveling!

32

Portfolio  

Portfolio for Rhet 201

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you