Comenius university helps Ukraine. Week 1: What have we accomplished
Bratislava, 3 March 2022: From the first day of the military invasion of Ukraine, Comenius University Bratislava pledged support and assistance to students and faculty from this war-stricken country, as well as to other people affected by the crisis. It offers the students and researchers who were forced to leave their homeland the opportunity to continue studying and working. At the same time, it will accommodate the students who might face any difficulties participating in lectures.
By: CU External Relations Office
The University also comments on the war itself. "Comenius University Bratislava suspends all cooperation with its partner institutions from Russia. One such example is our cooperation with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna: we are stopping all exchanges of staff or students. The university will stop seconding and receiving any faculty or students under contracts which we have with partner institutions in Russia," said the Rector of Comenius University Marek Števček.
Comenius University has immediately set up a contact email address, available to those students and faculty who may need help (ukrajinauniba.sk). Students most frequently inquire about the possibility of accommodating their relatives. The university reserved about 300 beds for this purpose. One of such cases was a student who needed to find accommodation for her nine-year old brother, because their parents stayed back in Kiev. Increasing numbers of Slovak students are offering help in the form of accommodation, language interpretation or medical care. University staff provide guidance to those who apply for extraordinary scholarships and psychological, spiritual or legal assistance.
From the first day of the conflict, the services of the Comenius University Psychological Counselling Service are available to and used by the students in need of such assistance. The Evangelical Theological Faculty of Comenius University offers spiritual counselling. The Centre of Legal Advice of the Faculty of Law where students of law will offer legal assistance, is expected to be up and running soon.
Several collections are open at the University - you can donate at the Druzba and Mlyny dormitories, and also at individual faculties. Brothers Samuel Furka and Daniel Furka from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Comenius University cooperate with the Military and Hospital Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem to collect material donations for refugees. The collection is open until Thursday. Items like durable foodstuffs, disinfectants and hygiene products, bandages, first aid kits and other necessities are welcome. This humanitarian aid will be transported to Ukraine on Friday, 4 March.
The Bratislava Association of Medics, whose members are students of medicine, organizes donations of blood for Ukraine.
Students of translation and interpreting of European languages are doing their share by translating news from Ukraine with the help of their teachers. Veronika Goldiňáková, who graduated from the Department of Russian Studies and Eastern European Studies at Comenius University, compiled a freely available handbook of elementary Ukrainian, including basic phrases and vocabulary. It will help the people providing assistance to Ukrainians in their communication.
Students of Russian studies at Comenius University expressed their opposition to the Russian aggression: "We, the Students of Russian Studies, in the name of the humanist values which underlie the best that Russian literature and culture gave the world, reject the military aggression of the Russian Federation, the expressions of chauvinism and barbaric violence accompanied by the denial of the existence of the Ukrainian nation and language." They also expressed their respect to the citizens of Russia and Belarus who also oppose the war and the inhumanity. They are working on a petition which might be joined by students of Russian Studies from other universities.
The Rector's College is scheduled to meet on Monday to review the measures taken by the University so far and plan the next steps. In any case, the University is firm in its resolution to do its utmost to help deal with this humanitarian crisis and its consequences.