Condemnation of the attacks by the Prime Minister on student Marek Janiga
During its session today, the Academic Senate of Comenius University Bratislava passed a resolution in which it condemns the attacks of Prime Minister Robert Fico on student Marek Janiga. University leadership reaffirmed its support for Marek Janiga. The statement was also supported by the Governing Board of Comenius University Bratislava.
By: CU External Relations Office
The Academic Senate of Comenius University Bratislava (AS CU) condemns the public attacks of Prime Minister Robert Fico on Marek Janiga, a student of the Faculty of Law of Comenius University Bratislava, as well as other attacks on students who, out of their interest in public affairs, demanded that an academic discussion on important issues of public interest take place at Comenius University Bratislava in December 2023.
The Academic Senate of Comenius University Bratislava (AS CU) condemns any personal attacks on members of the academic community of Comenius University Bratislava, be they students, teachers or researchers, particularly by the political leaders of the Slovak Republic. AS CU expresses its conviction that one of their responsibilities is to lead the general public by example in conduct. For this reason, they should bear in mind that their actions may have a negative impact on the discourse among the citizens of the Slovak Republic, but also interfere with their personal integrity, which is something that we consider unacceptable. We therefore call on the Slovak society at large and especially its political leaders to be polite when communicating with those who hold differing opinions, because only such discussion can contribute to the democratic development of our society.
At the AS session the leadership of Comenius University Bratislava reaffirmed its media statement released on 21 December 2023, according to which it considers the words addressed by the Prime Minister to our student as extremely inappropriate. Ad hominem statements should be unacceptable in the Prime Minister's communication with the country's citizens, all the more so because their position in the hierarchy is significantly asymmetrical. The students were just politely asking for discussion - and discussing academic topics should be the basic modus operandi of academia.
The Governing Board of Comenius University Bratislava reaffirms statements made by the Academic Senate of Comenius University Bratislava and the leadership of Comenius University Bratislava regarding the condemnation of attacks by the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic on student Marek Janiga.
20 December 2023: the first statement of the University published on social networks:
"CU fully supports free academic debate and will vigorously defend anyone’s right to express themselves freely. It however encourages civility, politeness and the use of factual arguments. As much as our opinions differ, we should avoid personal attacks in the discussion."
20 December 2023: Rector Števček's statement
"As a person, as a teacher at CU FLAW (albeit currently occupying an academic post), I call on everyone to respect the prerogatives of the academic world and to refrain from vulgar attacks on anyone who represents this world. Yesterday it was Edo Burda, today it is Marek Janiga, tomorrow it could be anyone."
21 December 2023: statement for the Denník N daily:
"We consider the prime minister's words addressed to our student as extremely inappropriate. Ad hominem statements should be unacceptable in the Prime Minister's communication with the country's citizens, all the more so because their position in the hierarchy is significantly asymmetrical.
21 December 2023: statement for the SME daily:
"The university considers the statements inappropriate. On Wednesday, Vice Rector for Education Eva Viglašová sent an e-mail to Janiga, and Rector Marek Števček spoke with him on the phone. They talked about the support that the Rector and the University can offer him."
21 December 2023: statement for the Markíza TV:
"Comenius University considers these statements by the Prime Minister, addressed to our student, as extremely inappropriate."
(TV Markíza monitoring)
23 January, 2024: Rector Števček accepted the students' invitation to a debate
"Once again, I emphasize that we consider as unacceptable any ad hominem attacks on Marek Janiga and other students who were just politely asking for a discussion - and discussing academic topics should be the basic modus operandi of academia."