SAN JUAN – A group of students on Monday accosted the chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico’s main Rio Piedras campus in San Juan.
Chancellor Ana Guadalupe, according to witnesses, was hit and/or doused with several bottles of water and had her hair pulled while UPR security guards tried to escort her out after a meeting.
The students were protesting the imposition of a new student fee of $800 that entered into force in January as well as Guadalupe’s ban on campus demonstrations.
The students also broke one of the windows of the security vehicle that guards used to try and escort the chancellor – who was photographed completely drenched with water – from the scene.
Student leader Waldemiro Velez said that the gathering on Monday showed the commitment of university students to public education and against new fees.
Groups of students have been mounting protests on the Rio Piedras campus since Dec. 14 and staging an open-ended strike to reject the $800 fee.
The students have been gathering since that date on the campus, although fewer are attending those protests now than did so in the past.
The series of protests begun in December constitutes the second phase of a strike initiated last summer, which forced the closure of Puerto Rico’s largest university for two months as students protested the reduction of the school’s budget and the albeit so-far-hypothetical plan of Gov. Luis Fortuño to privatize the institution. EFE