While the world is currently occupied with the U.S. presidential election, there’s another heated election to focus on in Lebanon, the student elections at the American University of Beirut!
In the largest independent campaign ever in AUB’s history, 94 independent candidates from AUB Secular Club’s ‘Campus Choice’ will be running for seats in all faculties this year – the first since the October 17 Revolution.
Overshadowed by the overwhelming independent campaign, political party clubs are falling back. Clubs affiliated with political parties, such as the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, and the Future Movement, have decided to boycott the student elections.
On their side, those clubs are stating that the elections are not feasible due to a number of reasons and are urging for the temporary postponement of the elections, which are scheduled next week.
For instance, the FPM Youth are saying the pandemic makes it difficult to hold the elections on campus and that students have not been able to hold meetings.
Another complaint is that e-voting “increased pressure on students” and “constrains their freedom of choice.”
Making a strong comeback, the AUB Secular Club wrote, “In light of recent calls by various sectarian parties to boycott the elections, we would like to make it clear that these calls are nothing but a declaration of defeat in disguise.”
“Sectarian parties that have been ruling the country for decades can no longer appeal to the youth following the historic October 17 revolution.”
“These groups have lost politically after the parties they represent have destroyed our country and jeopardized young people’s future,” they snapped back.
Campus Choice aims to make several reforms, including forming an independent student council, calling for tuition to be accepted in Lebanese Lira rather than in USD, and much more.
“In the pursuit of a secular, free, and just society away from all racism, classism, sectarianism, and sexism, we are taking part in this battle on campus,” they proudly announced.
Independent students are making wins across Lebanese universities, such as LAU and RHU, against rival political parties’ candidates, proudly taking a stand against the old system that failed them.
Their student elections serve as a window to a brighter future where the youth are proving not only to want change but to be the change they want to see in their country.