St Petersburg students speak out against "ideological brainwashing of young people"

12 November 2013

Source: (info)
The Russian Student Union (RSU) in St. Petersburg has spoken out against the creation of the so-called Council for Ideological Work with Students. According to RSU members, the Council, created "to enhance ideological work with students", will seek to "combat dissent in the student environment and repress any student initiatives that are not aligned with the interests of the University Administration". 

The St. Petersburg branch of the Student Union stated that they cannot allow a return to the days when ideological propaganda was promoted amongst young people. "The purpose of the Council is to carry out the ideological brainwashing of young people. The creation of special bodies to exert control over a person's beliefs is unacceptable and poses a risk to society. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Council has been created, first and foremost, with the aim of forestalling unrest amongst students, who are the most socially volatile group of the population, and to get universal "unconditional approval" amongst students for any initiative taken by the University Administration or the Government, reads the RSU statement, cited by Rosbalt.

As a result, the students decided to call on the Russian Ministry of Education and the Council of Rectors of the St. Petersburg universities to "immediately revoke the decision to create the Council for Ideological Work with Students and to take all possible steps to remove those who were behind this initiative from their posts."

Letters were sent out to universities of the northern capital last week saying that educational establishments must, by 18 November, designate an individual responsible for ideological work and submit proposals to the Council for a programme of ideological work with the students.

Translated by Lindsay Munford