Pursuant to Article 19 of the Student Council Charter, ASPU Student Council convened a meeting on Friday to discuss a number of issues and concerns raised by students. Apolitization of higher education institutions and further activities of the Student Council were also on the agenda.
“In the past years we have tried and, I think, we have succeeded in establishing the principles of justice and equality. Everyone was given an opportunity to participate in ongoing competitions and projects without discrimination. Students with best grades and best academic results were encouraged in due order. Certainly, there were also shortcomings, but I assure you that all cases which were qualified as unacceptable, had only one purpose - to solve the problems of students,” said Nersik Margaryan, President of the ASPU Student Council.
He says each person is free to decide the political party or force he/she wants to join and express his/her political stance freely, but it should be in no way connected with the education process. Political propaganda or campaigning is prohibited in the education system.
“The Student Council is a unique smithy for people who go through that structure and become a component of a larger family which includes people with different worldviews. Our primary goal is to back up our students, focus on their needs, protect their rights and interests,” Nersik Margaryan said. His speech was followed by a question-and-answer session during which students raised their concerns ranging from issue-priority voting to apolitization of student councils.
In the long run, it was decided to outline the future activities of the student body and confirm that educational institutions should be apolitical.
135 of the 180 delegates were registered to vote. The council passed the proposal to create a healthy environment for each student by a recorded vote of 72 in favour, 1 against and 25 abstentions.
The attendees condemned all forms of persecution in response to the expression of a political opinion; the demand that a person must resign from work for his political affiliation or not engage in outside activities; political campaigns on premises of educational institutions. The participants were unanimous that students have the right to become members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and student organizations.
The meeting was attended by independent observers.