The government asked for hundreds of rooms for the participants of the International Eucharistic Congress held between September 5-12.
The Pope is finally coming to Hungary this August. It was not an easy ride for him to decide whether to participate in the Congress or not. DNH wrote in summer that, according to some sources, the head of the Catholic Church was considering skipping the event because of a clash of standpoints between him and Hungary. Luckily, he changed his mind and will spend a day in the organising country.
The Congress itself, however, is causing some outcry among university students. In the past couple of days,
thousands of university students had to face the bad news: they will not be able to move into their dorms at the beginning of the semester. The rooms are either paid for or obtained as a social allowance.
The reason is the Congress and the government’s demand for the dormitory rooms to accommodate up to 5000 participants arriving at the event. As the students say, they did not receive any preliminary information. Student councils noted that several universities decided without involving student associations.
“Neither students with a dorm room nor the student council or any student association representing the students’ rights were notified before making the decision”, received telex.hu the answer from readers.
“Only freshmen and those who stayed in the dorms of Schönherz and Kármán (of BME) during this summer can move in now. There was no preliminary discussion about it. The decision was made out of the blue. It is outrageous.”
On Tuesday, the National Conference of Student Councils (HÖOK) made public that the governments’ request for 5000 beds arrived last week. Their announcement was somewhat late, as both BME and ELTE wrote on Monday that they would provide room for the event’s guests.
ELTE will provide 2200 places at most, probably in the dorms Ajtósi Dürer sor, Damjanich utca, and the Köőrösi Csoma Sándor building.
BME made a promise for 2000 places in all their dorms except for Kármán Tódor and Schönherz.
The amount of information provided to students varies by university.
ELTE says they will make sure that freshmen, international students, those living in the dorm during summer and having booked it for September, and all those who need a place for any other circumstance, will have one.
In the case of BME, the issue was more complicated. Its student council wrote on their website on Monday that “the plan had been set up without any preliminary discussion and without asking the student council about the process of providing the dorm rooms.”
HÖOK wrote that it had been known for a while that dorms would be needed. However, universities reacted differently to the request. Some started to organise themselves, while others did not notify their student council.
Depending on the institutions, the semester either starts at the end of August or on September 6. There is no news about delaying the first classes.
ELTE provided the most information. They also wrote that
the Ministry of Innovation and Technology would provide 135 million forints (385 thousand euros) to the university to spend on developing its dorms.
They also added that students would not have to pay the dorm fee for September, missing the classes during this period would not be included in the attendance, and they would provide all students with the material online.
HÖOK communicates that the Ministry of Higher Education started coordination with them. Their president and the student councils of those four universities primarily involved in the issue were present. According to telex.hu, these universities are BME, ELTE, BGE, and the University of Óbuda. However, SZFE, Semmelweis University, and the Hungarian University of Fine Arts are also involved.
Although HÖOK writes the same information that ELTE provided and adds that the amount of money given to the institutions can only be used to develop the dorms and the services, still,
thousands of students will not be able to move in before September 12.