Protest auditorium

Auditorium 115 was formed during the student protests at Tbilisi State University in March. (DF Watch.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The student movement Auditorium 115 plans to file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court demanding to amend several regulations in the law about higher education.

Members of the organization which was created during protests at Tbilisi State University (TSU) said Sunday that in its current version, the law is discriminatory because it violates the principle of equality. Namely, students believe that the law gives a ‘monopoly’ to the student’s union to be elected to the faculty council.

The student’s unions in Georgia’s state universities receive financing from the university’s central budget. They have a president and representatives in different faculties.

Some of the disagreement behind the protests at TSU in March was over the role of the student’s union. Auditorium 115 explains that the student’s union members in the council have a right to participate in the election of faculty dean and members of the academic council, one of the university’s managing bodies.

“We believe that it is a violation that only members of student’s union have such a right as it is against the principle of equality,” Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association wrote in a statement, on behalf of Auditorium 115.

The statement goes on to say that the law about higher education is vague and allows the student’s union to get access to university financing, misspending the money on personal activities.

“We believe that the current version of the law is discriminatory and it has to be amended so that all students may be in equal conditions.”

Auditorium 115 and GYLA plan a press conference on Monday where further details of the lawsuit will be presented.

Students at TSU launched a protest in the beginning of March. Initially, they demonstrated against the election of the chancellor of the university’s senate, another managing body. They claimed that the only candidate for chancellor was biased and had a controversial past. With this and other demands, the students started a sit-in, and named their movement after the room they were in, Auditorium No 115 in TSU’s first building. They also protested against the student’s union, which also stayed in the same building, demanding the rector’s resignation.

Soon after the protests were over, rector of TSU Vladimer Papava resigned. The university is currently going through a process of electing academic council members and later will elect a new rector.