The Most Difficult UJ Test…

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 29 November / Nov 2016. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Tue 29 November / Nov 2016. 08:11 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

Good call; the President of the University of Jordan (UJ/JU), Dr Azmi Mahaftha, decided to denounce the typical tribal discourse in dealing with the recent violence between students from Salt and Tafileh, in favour of a more civil discourse.

Similarly, tribal figureheads representing both parties in conflict also conditioned that perpetrators are to be handed over to the authorities for further judicial processing, putting the tribal discourse in service of the civic endeavour of law; under its rule, not above it, as it once was.

Undoubtedly, a tribal social intervention was in order to contain the most unfortunate unfolding of violence and guarantee the prevention of vindictive reactions and violence that would otherwise lead the situation culminating; meanwhile, the tribal influence this time allowed the process of law to take its course in the determination of involvement in reciprocated assaults and acts of violence, including the most primitive incursion of the University’s campus.

In the many similar incidents of the sort, social influencers would converge to deter the discourse of law and investigation, by mitigating a deal, more or less, on the expense of lawfulness. Statesmen of different place, office, and position would lead and lobby campaigns to pressure universities out of disciplining and punishing students involved in violence, and that gave bullies and rascals the space to do as they please, and challenge the rule of law as well as university regulation.

This time, the Deanship of the University of Jordan has made a decisive stand against violence, and it does not seem, from Dr Mahaftha’s statements, that the University is going to give any concessions, finally. Well done; the University’s prestige and reputation go only as far as its deanship’s wills it to, and these days, UJ’s reputation is on the line. Should this incident go unaddressed and unpunished, strictly, it is bound to happen again; only then, it will take down the University’s name with it.

Should the University of Jordan carry this out, legally, to the end, it will sent an example for all other universities, drawing a line in the sand that no one will dare cross thereon. And should the line ever be crossed again, the price will be costly; from expulsion to imprisonment, which may ruin a student’s chance at a decent life forever.

Furthermore, following the 6th Royal Discussion Paper by the King, it would be shameful of any official to even think of forsaking the rule of law, for whatever social or utilitarian considerations.

So, in order, to realise the Deanship’s promise to hold those involved accountable, the results of the ongoing investigation need to be disclosed to the public opinion, transparently. More so, cooperation with media channels are also in order, to follow on procedures against proven perpetrators of violence, albeit academic or judicial processing, for everybody to know that the rule of law is sacred in all and under any circumstance.

Afterwards, a thorough social endeavour needs to be envisioned and explored into the disintegration of tribal constructs within UJ, and all other universities of course, in favour of constructing an alternative, civil university identity for students, in the stead of narrow alliances and allegiances that reduce our educated youth in flocks of outlaws and militias, behaving in utter disrespect of the law.

In the same discourse, an assessment of standing university leagues and unions should be conducted to explore the reasons behind these bodies’ failure to integrate students in the cross sub-cultural, inter-provincial, wider national and academic dynamic, which may require amendments to regulations and systems, to increase these bodies’ effectiveness.

The University of Jordan now faces a most difficult test, unlike all of the tests held at its hall; and everybody is waiting for the result.

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