We hosted a few pleasant guests from The Netherlands in the VHA yesterday.They are members of the AEGEE and they came to Belgrade interested in the situation over here.They were asked to describe the structure of an autonomous university in a democratic country and that is what they did. The whole story adds up to this: the state (government) finances the university but does not pry into its internal structure and functioning; there is a university parliament consisting of students and professors (in some examples only of students) which has to verify the decisions of the university management. On the school level there are unions, which can be connected among each other and, among other activities, they can influence the actions of school council. All in all, the model on the blackboard looked nice and, to us, so far away.

Aware of the huge difficulties we will have here at, practically, every faze of creating an autonomous university, our guests could only give us a few tips on what we could do: to maintain healthy relations with our professors, to try to register the existing independent student unions, to start planning our actions after the protest ends, to try to find sponsors (because we cannot count on our government for proper funding).

It is obvious that the students have started to comprehend the fact that it is necessary to found an alternate students organization to the one that has been, in the past few years, working on everything but the students interests. It is also obvious that the forming of independent students organizations shall tend to be rather unofficial than not (according to our experience up till now).

Maybe one of the most important things to gain by this protest is the awareness that we must permanently keep on solving problems concerning our future and not just occasionally protest when the situation becomes unbearable.

Lunja s Marsa

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