The two students who chained themselves in front of the rector's office and began a hunger strike were received by the rector Antonella Polimeni. They are two members of the Cambiare Rotta collective, a communist youth organization. The situation within the university has been particularly tense for several days. On Tuesday, April 16, the Academic Senate voted against the request to interrupt collaborations with Israel, a battle that has recently involved many other Italian universities. Following this decision, a group of students from Sapienza organized a protest procession, which resulted in the arrest of two people.

Tensions between students and university leaders did not end with Tuesday's march. In fact, for several days, a demonstration has been underway on the university campus, with two students from Cambiare Rotta – Francesca and Leonardo – who chained themselves in front of the rectorate and began a hunger strike. “Let’s continue and wait for Rector Polimeni to open the dialogue,” the two students said this morning. Finally, the rector's invitation arrived. As soon as the interview is over, Francesca and Leonardo will return to the other students present to communicate to them the outcome of the meeting. Their demand remains the same: a public debate with rector Antonella Polimeni on the issues that have so outraged the student community, starting with calls for collaboration with Israel.

On the cover: The conference for students detained at the Rectorate of Sapienza in Rome, April 17, 2024 (ANSA/Claudio Peri)

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