Anybody who's attended the American University of Beirut knows just how special the university's greenfield and track are.
Except now, AUB alumni can't even enjoy a walk, jog, or run there, unless they pay an entrance fee.
The university is now imposing a 10,000 L.L. fee on all alumni looking to use the greenfield - which is part of the Charles Hostler Center. Access to the field was previously free-of-charge to all students and alumni.
As soon as the news began making the rounds online, AUB alumnus Makram Rabah launched a petition urging the current administration to revoke the new fees.
"Revoke this fee, as alumni should not be charged to use their own home. Kindly share and circulate," Rabah wrote in a Facebook post.
The petition has garnered thousands of signatures since.
Rabah contacted the University Sports Director with regards to the new fee. The response?
"As you know, we have many people using the CHSC facilities including the track, which needs continuous maintenance and care if we intend to keep it in a good condition. [We also did this] in order to encourage memberships, especially to our alumni [which is why] the administration updated the policy," the sports director wrote in an email.
Rabah went on to clarify that he has acknowledged the fact that the decision was not one instated by the current administration, but rather during the term of John Waterbury, the 14th president of AUB in January 1998.
He also clarified that the petition is "in no way an attack against AUB" but rather a burden on the "alumni spirit."