ATHENS – Athens University rector Theodoros Fortsakis wants access restricted to the school grounds only to students, academics, staff and invited guests but is running to fierce resistance.
Fortsakis held talks with about 50 students at his office and invited them to send representatives to attend a Senate meeting on October 30. The rector said that the university is willing to discuss students’ concerns about the security measure but would not permit “mobs” to hijack the debate.
“The rector’s office is always open to dialogue but this requires calm and politeness,” he said. “Another precondition is that there are a limited number of representatives from all sides. We expect student unions to take part through representatives and without violence or swearing. We are prepared to discuss the problems under the condition that this will happen within democratic parameters,” Kathimerini said.
Some students are opposed to identity checks because the said it violates the principle of free assembly and debate established at Greek universities after the collapse of the junta in 1974.
Administrative employees have also said they are against the measure, arguing that it is demeaning for them to go through ID checks to enter their workplace.
Fortsakis also met with representatives of the administrative staff and suggested that a method may be found that would mean visitors rather than employees would face checks. Employee representative Zacharias Trigazis said that a compromise could be found.