QUESTION - The media is currently discussing students participating in unauthorized political rallies. What is your position on the subject?
ANSWER - t’s true that this question has been actively discussed and a number of Rectors have already gone on record regarding the issue. All in all, my position is not different from theirs. Since being Rector entails, in addition to the academic process per se, caring for the wellbeing of students, I think that this concern applies not only to campus and dorm life, but, broadly speaking, to the street life, too. These are our students, after all. We have to warn them of all possible consequences of such actions.
QUESTION - Do you think students ought to be expelled for such violations?
ANSWER - I personally do not want to expel anybody. But let’s consider this from a different angle. If a student faces criminal charges, and he is proven guilty, this can derail his life. Here’s a simple example: a streetracing student, driving with no regard for the regulations, gets in an accident. An immediate question is, where his family has been? And what about his university’s administration? Why hasn’t he been made aware of the consequences of his actions? But if said administration, having received the information from the road police, has a talk with this student, we get accused of pressure and undue violation of privacy rights. The unofficial rallies fall into the same category. It’s summer vacation now yet in September the academic year begins and what are we to do if our students are protesting on the streets instead of going to classes? And, on top of it, what if these protests have not been authorized and some students have been arrested and held for a long time? The main goal of students is to think about their studies and become full-fledged professionals. We have had a very high number of applications this year, with the USE average of 280. We have excellent freshmen who came to acquire knowledge. And this is our common responsibility: to let your knowledge be your power.