Russia: Students are driven out of their student residence

We have received this report from comrades in Russia as well as members of the Student's Residence Soviet and the Student's Union in St. Petersburg about a recent demonstration against the policies of the university administration.
See also in Russian:
Студентов и аспирантов выгоняют из общежитий

We have received this report from comrades in Russia as well as members of the Student's Residence Council and the Student's Union in St. Petersburg about a recent demonstration against the policies of the university administration.


On the eve of the current university term Saint Petersburg State University students gathered around the Lomonosov monument in front of the university. The students protested against the policy of the university administration that sharply increased the rent for the dormitory and carried out a policy of expulsion and resettlement of the dormitories' residents.

Dozens of people participated in the protest meeting, mainly students, with the slogans "No to the expulsion/resettlement", "The university is made up of students and teachers not the administration", "A homeless scholar means death for science and research" and so on.

The protesters affirm that they were protesting not only against their own expulsion, which is just one of many cases of the university administration ignoring the rights of students and young teachers. The administration is not taking these problems seriously, one of the students claimed. They see these problems as obstacles to their plans of commercialisation.

According to these plans the price for a place in residence for public servants has increased from 1,66 roubles to 6 roubles per day (a total of 2,184 roubles per year) - and the rent has to be paid one year in advance! For professors on contract and students the price for the same period amounts to anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 roubles. The protest organisers say that these prices do not reflect the real costs of community services, such as utilities and rubbish collection, fees for which are not paid a year in advance.

Students and young teachers (although there are almost no young teachers - the teachers' average age is 53 years) are expelled from the dormitories or resettled to a campus in Peterhof, which in this case is a four hour commute. The dormitories are transformed into hotels or are let to contract students and teachers. The university teachers, however, cannot afford to buy or rent an accommodation; the price for a one-room flat per month exceeds the teachers' monthly wages. Moreover, the meeting's participants mentioned the money received by letting the rooms to contract students and teachers is not spent on the dormitories' renovation or improvement of the flats, but line the administration's pockets for unnecessary, but lucrative projects.

Regardless of the fact that the protest action was announced in advance not only to the police but also to the administration, they didn’t bother to showed up.


Click on the thumbnails to view the photos.