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Society

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Appel des étudiants contre l’austérité

by Sylvie Ducatteau

University Students Appeal Against Austerity

Translated Thursday 25 September 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

“The opening of the academic year is ringing the death knell for student success!” This cry of alarm has just been issued, on the initiative of the Union of Communist Students, by 20 student associations, by the presidents of students’ bureaus and houses (1), by elected officials and by leaders of political movements.

“The opening of the academic year is ringing the death knell for student success!” This cry of alarm has just been issued, on the initiative of the Union of Communist Students, by 20 student associations, by the presidents of students "bureaux" and houses (1), by elected officials and by leaders of political movements.

Associated in an appeal against austerity at the French universities, they condemn the absence of means and the worsening of learning conditions for students. 70% of students are forced to work to finance their education, with 30% even working full time. This year, their concern is heightened by the 1.2-billion-euro decline in the government’s higher education budget.

The signers of the appeal are very concretely demanding that the financing dedicated to the Research Tax Cut, which amounts to 6 billion euros and which they describe as “a waste,” be re-oriented to the whole of higher education and research. They also condemn the worsening inequality in the value of the diplomas delivered by the different, now-autonomous French universities. They are demanding a national framework for these diplomas, which are decisive in getting a job.

The signers are announcing mobilization actions from November 17 to 21, and in particular plan to hold a referendum in all the universities.

List of the first signers of the appeal entitled “Let’s trust the universities and youth”

Hugo Pompougnac
National secretary of the Union of Communist Students

Zoé Mahrouchi,
President of the General Association of Students in Provence, and a student in Aix.

Constantin Lopez,
President of the Federation of Students at University Dormitories in Toulouse

Julien Marchesi,
Coordinator of the National Network of Students Taking the Agrégation Competitive Examination

Thibault Champrobert,
President of the Bureau of Students at the Schools of History and Geography at Pascal Blaise University in Clermont-Ferrand

Paul Dumont,
President of the “Initiative of Progressive Students” (a representative association of students at the Institutes of Political Studies)

Sarah Chakrida,
Director of the student newspaper Camarades de classe

Maurine Péron,
Student vice-president of the University of Angers

Pierre Leroy,
Student vice-president of the University of Bordeaux III

Hadrien Liaboeuf,
Editor in chief of Colporteur, the student newspaper in Clermont-Ferrand

Mathieu Mercuri,
President of the Youth Stop Homophobia Association, and a student in Nice

Soumaïla Ballo,
President of the Association of Students and Interns from Mali, in Poitiers

Thibault Delreux,
Founder of the Association of Leftists at the Institute of Political Studies in Rennes

Andrea Benedetti,
President of the Council of the University Dormitories in Robertsau and Agapanthes (University of Strasburg)

Dilara Capulçu,
President of the Union of Foreign Students in Strasburg

Ludivine Rock,
Représentante des étudiants en CAPA-Droit de l’Université de Nanterre

Victor Femenia,
Student representative on the University Council on Studies and Life, Orléans

Antoine Sugite,
Head of the Student Erasmus Network and a student at Lille 3

Thibault Ternel,
Students’ House at Lille 1

Lucile Merbah,
Member of the National Bureau of the National Union of Students in France

Léonard Léma,
President of the SUD student union at the University of Tours

Malek Smida,
Leader of the Movement of Young Socialists in the Calvados département, and a student in Caen.

Lou Barra-Thibaudeau,
Secretary of the Young Ecologists of Poitou-Charente and a student in Poitiers

(1) A students’ bureau is a student association based at a particular university which organizes extra-curricular activities, welcomes new students, and organizes sports and cultural events, cafeterias and student co-operatives. A students’ house is a similar institution. Translator’s note.


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