News for March 7th, 1997

The Chancellor of Belgrade university, Dragutin Velickovic, resigned his post today. Vojin Djurdjevic, the Student Vice-President, also submitted his resignation. The reporters in the building in which the Chancellor's office is learned this information from the members of the Main Board of the Student Protest, and it was received with great enthusiasm. Students of Belgrade University had symbolically returned to classrooms today, in expectation for the Chancellor to resign.

The Chancellor of Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic, stated today that he had submitted his resignation to the University Council, the session of which will be held Marsh 20. "I resign for ethical reasons, for I did not want to give in under the pressure from the streets and by party leaders," said Velickovic to the reporters of the state media, for they were the only ones who got his statement. The session of the University Council will be held on March 20, and new Chancellor should be appointed then. It is possible for Velickovic to be elected as Chancellor again. The Student Vice-Chancellor, Vojin Djurdjevic, said he had submitted his resignation wishing his colleagues to start attending lectures again. He also submitted his resignation to the University Council.

Tomislav Dragovic, professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering and Vice-Chancellor of Belgrade University, has been appointed the acting Chancellor. Dragovic was appointed to this post by Dragutin Velickovic, who resigned from his post of the Chancellor of Belgrade University today.

In the crowded amphitheater at the Law School in Belgrade, the students have been attending the lectures given by their professors, assistants and other students since 8:00 today. They discuss international law, politics and democracy. Students of the School of Architecture had the assembly at 9:00, after which the lecture in mechanics was held. The next assembly began at 12:00. Students of the School of Mechanical Engineering decided this morning, in the assembly attended by several of their professors as well, to continue the Student Protest, and after that they went for a walk, passing by the School of Technology and Metallurgy and towards the School of Political Sciences. The discussion about the Student Protest at the School of Technology and Metallurgy still continues. The students shall gather in the amphitheater tomorrow to hear the address of dean Fedor Zdanski. Professor Ljubisa Rajic held a lecture in democracy at the School of Languages. Students of the School of Geography came to hear the sociology lecture by professor Mirjana Markovic, who did not turn up, although according to the schedule she was supposed to give a lecture today. The student refused to hear the lecture by the assistant, who appeared instead of professor Markovic.

Cedomir Antic, a member of the Main Board of the Student Protest 96/97 and its chairperson until recently, stated today that he had not expected that Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic and Student Vice-Chancellor Vojin Djurdjevic would resign, and added that their resignations represented a great victory for students. "I believe that this is the beginning of some future events. We have not been struggling for the change of authorities in Serbia. We have been struggling for just authorities. We have demanded that the Constitution should be obeyed. We have achieved that," said Antic. When asked whether students would return to classes on Monday, Antic said that the main board of the Student Protest should make the decision upon that matter.

Vladimir Dobrosavljevic, a member of the Initiative Board of the Student Protest 96/97, stated today that the resignation of the Chancellor of Belgrade University, Dragutin Velickovic, means the complete triumph after 106 days of the protest. "If the Council does not accept the resignation of Chancellor Velickovic in the session scheduled for March 20, students will take to the streets once again, and start the struggle against the regime, which our oponents will not be able to win in any way," stated Dobrosavljevic for Radio Index.

At least 15,000 students of both Belgrade Universities surrounded today at 16:00 the Serbian Presidency building, shouting "Red Gang" and "Slobo, you are the next". Belgrade students, who have been protesting for 106 days, received the information about the resignations of the Chancellor and Student Vice-Chancellor with great enthusiasm. Students announced that the protest shall continue till March 20, when the University Council is supposed to decide whether to accept Velickovic's resignation.

The Scientific-educational Council of Belgrade University announced today that with the resignations of the Chancellor and the Student Vice-Chancellor all conditions for the normalization of lectures have been provided. They invited the students to start attending lectures on Monday, March 10. Discontented with that decision and with the refusal of 25 of 30 Deans to adopt their suggestion that the decision concerning the beginning of lectures be made by students, the representatives of the Main Board of the Student Protest left the session. Their demand was that student assemblies be held on Monday, so that students could decide whether lectures will begin on Tuesday or not. The Deans rejected this demand unanimously.

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