Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Attack of the Killer Freshmen

I have so much to write about last week's camping trip to Park Nikolokoba. It was seriously beautiful and amazing, even if we did have to drive for 24 hours in a cramped bus with 20 toubab women. It was a great trip. Look at my photos on Facebook, and I'll add more later. I have lots to describe.

But not now. Now I will describe the events of this morning.

I was sitting in my Comparative Politics class, ironically discussing Democracy, when all these students (all of them male) rushed in our class. They were yelling and blowing whistles, and they overwhelmed all of us. They threw our papers and notebooks on the floor and overturned the desks, we all got up and left the room when they started throwing chairs against the wall and broke down the door so that it couldnt be shut. This is a student strike, senegal-style. It was the first time I'd seen one get this violent. As someone who studies the resolution of conflict, the whole event was just so fascinating to me.

The freshmen are striking on campus because they still havent been paid their scholarships, which they need to buy meal tickets and bus tickets to go home for easter. I saw my sweet friend Magueye amongst the rioters and I asked him what was up. He said that today he has no money and no resto tickets. He's sort of starving on campus, because he depends on these scholarships. I asked if there were any representatives who were going to talk (rationally) with the administration and he said that they had been trying to, so today the whole crowd was going to make them listen up.

I looked at Freddy (senegalese friend) when we were outside the classroom that was being trashed by a bunch of freshman, he looked at me and mouthed: ¨TIA¨.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember Baydayelle talking about this at the orientation. You would think they could at least up front enough scholarship money for the students to eat for crying out loud! Or hand out resto tickets as a crisis intervention.