Rector’s letter to students of the University of Silesia in response to questions on the procedures and rules of vaccination verification in student residence halls and its compliance with the law
Katowice, 26 July 2021
Chair of the Student Government
of the University of Silesia in Katowice
Dear Ms Chair,
thank you very much for your opinion expressed in the letter of 20 July 2021 concerning the rules and terms of students’ accommodation in student residence halls subject to verification whether the student is vaccinated. I have read carefully the arguments presented in the letter.
My letter is an expression of concern and care for your health. It also expresses my convictions, and the will to act against the still unclear and dangerous pandemic situation. It is not an official regulation, which obviously must be provided with relevant procedures that you are right to ask about. The same applies to compliance of additional accommodation terms with the effective law. In the case of events as difficult and surprising as a global epidemic, it is easy to plead formal legalism, and not to take any decisions that could expose us to criticism.
The University of Silesia’s authorities are obliged to ensure security within the University. We are currently unable to obtain sufficient and adequate tools to ensure such security based on general obligation, and this is why we are looking for our own internal arrangements and rigours, regardless of any legal assessments of such method of combating the danger, which will always be different. We are aiming towards the condition where the lives and health of us all are a more important value than complying with possible and potentially required formal legal requirements which, as experience shows, have always raised doubts, depending on the point of view, and will continue to do so.
As the community of the University of Silesia, we put trust in scientific knowledge. Vaccines are a result of this trust – they increase our immunity to virus, thus protecting our lives and health. Whenever I hear skeptical voices, I think about all those who died or severely suffered from COVID-19, and did not manage to see vaccines in their lifetime, starting with Prof. Andrzej Noras, our colleague, scholar, professor, Vice-Rector for Science, who passed away precisely because of the virus. What we owe them is to make every effort in order to vaccinate as many people at the University of Silesia as possible.
Let me ensure you that, while preparing the special accommodation terms in student residence halls during the epidemic, we will take into consideration the current legal status and individual health condition, which does not allow some of you to take the vaccine.
We cannot wait for the next epidemic wave without any defence. And we have no better defence than vaccinations.
Rector of the University of Silesia