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Society

Before Asylum Ban End, Thessaloniki Students Feared for Safety

August 16, 2019

As the new ruling New Democracy pushed through Parliament a law ending asylum on college campuses the Conservatives was being abused to let the grounds become a haven for criminals and anarchists, students at a Thessaloniki university said they didn’t feel safe there.

That was found in a survey that showed the students at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) were worried their campuses weren’t secure as criminals could use the school’s territory as a hideout from police who weren’t allowed to enter the law was changed.

The survey found that the main concern for 49 percent of respondents was the lack of security and policing, followed by lack of funding (46 percent) and poor sanitation (41 percent,) said Kathimerini, while 33 percent were mostly concerned about poor career prospects and the lack of lab equipment.

The survey was conducted by AUTh’s political science department on a sample of 3,788 students at AUTh and the University of Macedonia. The full findings will be presented at the 16th conference of the International Federation of Classification Societies (IFCS) in Thessaloniki from Aug. 26-29.

In January, about 30 university students stormed into the office of the Rectorate at the college, shouting insults and threatening employees, attending professors and the Rector, almost a week after a similar incident in the same university, the paper reported then.
The students demanded that the senate changes its rules to allow all students to attend and participate in its meetings, a move that would be “blatantly illegal,” AUT said in press release.

The group members forced a TV crew which was in the room to delete any recordings of the incident, took the mobile phone of a professor, punched him and pushed him towards an open window, the university said. “Thankfully, we didn’t mourn any victims,” AUT said.
As usual, there were no arrests as violence goes unpunished on college grounds, including by students and with professors often targeted.

In May, 2018, a study revealed hundreds of cases of incidents of college violence in recent years, more than a quarter of which involved attacks on academics.

The Thessaloniki’s University of Macedonia study found 358 instances of lawlessness and violence were reported in the period from 2011-17, including physical attacks to raids on university campuses, vandalism, drug dealing, robbery and rape, and occurred at 19 universities.

The largest number of attacks – 113 – were at the Aristotle University, the country’s largest, with 70 on Athens University campuses and 36 more at the National Technical University of Athens.

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