The youth-led protests that erupted in Egypt over the past three weeks have elicited numerous responses at Stanford and at college campuses across the U.S.
Students on the Farm organized an on-campus demonstration on Feb. 4 and participated in solidarity rallies in San Francisco. History professor Joel Beinin delivered numerous talks on the uprising, including one with political science professor Lisa Blaydes.
"On Monday [Feb. 7] we had about 60 Yale students gathering on Beinecke Plaza in support of the demonstrators in Egypt…basically demanding that Mubarak step down and calling for the Obama administration to more concretely support the protestors in Egypt," said Vivian Yee, editor in chief of the Yale Daily News.
Yale student Omar Muallah '12, president of Yale Students for Justice in Palestine, was an organizer of the student demonstration.
"The goal was to start thinking about what we could do as Yalies and as Americans to help the protestors in their struggle for a more dignified, democratic existence," Muallah said.
Muallah also submitted an op-ed piece to the Yale Daily News.
On the West Coast, some UC Berkeley students reacted to the Egyptian uprisings by participating in the Feb. 4 rally in San Francisco. Many Stanford students joined in as well.
Furthermore, Cal students staged a "die-in" in solidarity with the protestors; participants laid down on the ground and announced the causes for their "deaths." The demonstration aimed to raise awareness about violence against protestors and was followed by a rally in which students spoke about the significance of the uprising. The political action committee of Berkeley's Muslim Student Association organized the events.
"At one point they sat in a circle in the evening after the rally and talked about their connection to Egypt," said Emma Anderson, news editor at UC Berkeley's Daily Californian.
One of the protestors had a friend in Egypt who had been shot in the eye during the protests. He spoke to the students over the phone, explaining what had happened to him and what was going on in Cairo.
"It was definitely very powerful to the people who were there," Anderson said.
Berkeley students held a second rally and a candlelight vigil for the victims of the revolution on Feb. 7.
Anderson described the events as "very personal," noting that many of the attendees had direct ties to Egypt.
Students, however, were not the only ones to react to Egyptian protests. In the upper echelons of academia, Yale faculty published numerous op-eds in The Yale Daily News. Professors from Harvard and Yale signed an open letter to Obama calling for support for the democratic movement and hosted talks to discuss the situation.
President Obama declared in a statement last Friday "the Egyptian people have inspired us as they have changed the world." His comment came after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation.
Yale and Harvard professors also hosted a "teach-in" panel at Yale Law School on Feb. 8 about the recent unrest in Egypt. The Harvard Institute of Politics hosted a talk about what the situation means for U.S. policy. Members of the history and Near Eastern studies departments at Berkeley hosted events as well.
Adding to the academic dialogue, professors have brought news of developments overseas into the lecture hall.
"A couple of professors have begun incorporating the situation in Egypt into their curriculum," said Yee, noting that one professor compared the recent events in Egypt and Tunisia to eastern European movements in 1989.
"It's definitely something they've been discussing in classes," Anderson said.
"In sociology classes, they talk about the idea of solidarity," she added. "In history classes, they talk about the historical context. Bringing the current events into the curriculum is how professors have expressed their involvement."
Although Stanford does not have a study abroad program in Egypt, Rachel Antonsen '12 was in Cairo studying Arabic on a non-BOSP program when the protests erupted. She evacuated to Jordan on Feb. 5. Students from Yale, Harvard and UC Berkeley were also evacuated from Egypt, following the U.S. State Department's travel advisory.
Students and faculty in the U.S. showed their solidarity here, just as their counterparts at various universities across Egypt joined the movement in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Hundreds of professors from Cairo University, as well as students from the American University in Cairo (AUC), where most foreign students study in Egypt, congregated in the square to support the Egyptian uprising.
Last Sunday morning, the first day of classes after university closures, students at the AUC held a mass prayer for those killed during the uprisings. Three hundred Egyptians lost their lives as a result of the unrest, according to Human Rights Watch.
Students from Stanford and UC Berkeley also attended a vigil in San Francisco on Saturday to honor the victims.