Discontent began to germinate among the members of the student community of the Saltillo Technological Institute (ITS) since midday last Thursday, September 14, when the school administration, headed by its director María Gloria Hinojosa Ruiz, reported the suspension of classes starting at 1 p.m.. The reason? The performance of the Grupo Frontera concert, that night, at the intersection of Bulevar Venustiano Carranza and Avenida Universidad.
The concert would not take place at the ITS facilities, but A VIP area was planned to be placed on its front staircase. for a select group of guests to the concert organized, on the occasion of the national holidays, between the Government of Coahuila and the Saltillo City Council.
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After a series of conversations with ITS students and alumni, as well as their families, who spoke to VANGUARDIA on condition of anonymity, We reconstruct the events prior to the demonstration which has kept the most important avenue in the capital of Coahuila closed for more than 24 hours.
According to the testimonies collected, the notice of suspension of classes was followed by an “operation” to ensure that no students were left inside the main building. In this operation, it is stated, public security elements participatedpresumably from the Saltillo Municipal Police.
“What they wanted was to clean the bathrooms and make sure no one used them before the concert started.“said one of the people interviewed, who is part of the student community and assured that, “as never before”, The bathrooms were cleaned and toilet paper was placed.
The lack of cleanliness and toilet paper in the bathrooms is part of the complaints of the student community and one of the banners stuck on the fence in front of the ITS façade portrays the fact with acid humor: “Give me back the socks I lost due to lack of energy #nomascorrupción” reads the sign.
The next day, When the students returned to class, they found the vestiges of the party everywhere.. Photographs of dirty bathrooms and trash cans overflowing with empty bottles of different alcoholic beverages, as well as soft drink containers, began to circulate in the chats.
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“They walked with everything and a can of beer through the hallways of the main building“, reads one of the photographic compositions that a student circulated and in which the dirty bathrooms, a beer can on the side of a toilet and garbage covering the sink area. In other images you can see garbage deposits full of beer cans, mineral water containers, soft drinks and a bottle of rum. Photos also circulated of the main staircase which was covered in garbage the morning after the concert.
The unrest grew throughout the weekend when Images of the people who occupied the VIP area began to circulate, among whom were senior officials of the Coahuila government and some local media communicators. A video also circulated on social networks in which the mayor, Chema Fraustro, appears in an apparent inconvenient condition.
Such images ignited the spirit of the students because They reminded them of the many prohibitions to which they are subject as members of the ITS community. and that they are justified with the argument of protecting the image of the institution as well as the integrity of the building.
“We can’t even sit on the steps of the main entrance“said one of the people interviewed who assured that as soon as someone sits there, a guard demands that they get up. “Why can’t we do that and other people can?”questioned the source.
A Facebook user, “Eduardo Carranza Lecturer”, seems to confirm the species with a post published on its social network page this Tuesday morning: “Years ago I requested permission to organize one of my 7K EDUCALO races on V. Carranza and Av. Universidad, asking for the Tec Saltillo esplanade to carry out the awards, only the awards, without installing any type of platform and without opening the facilities of the institution, the permit was rejected under the argument that with our footsteps and the placement of the three award boxes we could damage the cobblestone floor“, it states.
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Not to mention, the sources assured, of introducing alcoholic beverages to the campus. “They have never given us permission, not even when we have organized dances to raise funds”, assured a former student linked, at the time, to the institution’s student society.
The rigor of the ban is portrayed by Facebook user “Pao EsHer” who points out, in a post published the previous Monday, that “Last year, a director was ‘suspended’ for entering with a can of beer that he used to prepare a record that they would sell at a fair”, which leads him to question why public servants who were in the VIP area could drink alcoholic beverages on the institution’s grounds.
From there to the hashtag #ElTecNoEsCantina, it only took a few clicks.
But the relaxation of the prohibition on drinking alcoholic beverages appears to have been just the straw that broke the camel’s back. The animosity against the school principal, whose dismissal has been made the students’ main demand, had been brewing since before.
One of the aspects pointed out by various interviewees is the prohibition on students selling items within the institution. “Some, especially foreigners, sell cookies, slices of pizza or cake to earn income and cover their expenses.”explained one of the people interviewed. The current administration prohibited such practice on the grounds that “they give a bad image”.
The reality, said the source, would be different: “The cafeteria concessionaires complain that the students are competing with them and since they pay for the space they have within the school, they ask the director to prevent the sale of grocery products.”, he assured.
In addition to the aspects listed above, Dissatisfied students claim that no relevant action has been taken to address complaints of sexual harassment presented by several students of the institution.
VANGUARDIA published, in June 2019, the complaint of a graduate of the Business Management Engineering program which He claimed to have been harassed by a professor of the institution who, according to her, was one of those who “had a reputation” for engaging in such behavior.
The situation continues to this day, say students with whom they spoke, but Most victims are afraid and prefer not to report the facts. because they do not believe that abusive teachers will be punished, or they fear being victims of worse retaliation.