Subbotnik

One more tradition has again been revived at the Belgorod State Technological University. On the 16th April 2005 the whole student body together with the professors of BSTU gathered on the campus to help workers remove dead leaves left after the winter season and to keep the premises clean. It was a voluntary free of charge socially oriented labour organised and fulfilled by the general public.

The cue had been taken from the Communist period of the Soviet Union to undertake a national general cleaning, what was then called “Subotnik”, to offer social labour immediately after winter to keep the environment clean for summer grasses. Over two years the BSTU also reorganised the student summer working camps to engage and help students to do holiday jobs and participate in practical attachment training at the same time. This year too, the old tradition has been brought back. However it will be wrong to concede that all old communist traditions are being revived. In my opinion what is considered important and worthy for the community is being adopted whether communist or capitalist.

Though it had never been the interest and willingness of foreign students during my time to participate in such “compulsory-voluntary” social activities, we all the same took part with great reluctance in them. Today, the situation seems to be different and there is a change in the approach to such activities. Last summer, foreign students voluntarily applied to participate in the summer working camps and helped to organise public security on the campus.

Early morning on the 16th April 2005, like their mates foreign students also gathered in front the Department of International Education and Cooperation in working attires and tools. Upon the request of the Association of Foreign Students in Russia together with the Department of International Education and Cooperation, foreign twenty-five students assembled to undertake a general cleaning, what was generally called “Subotnik”, around the offices of the department near the first hostel of BSTU.

The students devoted three working hours to prepare the flower beds for special grass plantation in front of the offices of the department. They also cleared litter on the plots in front and behind the offices of the department not only to make their campus and environment clean but also to stress their active participation in social activities and the feelings of belonging to the society. The “Subotnik” work was fulfilled in a friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere may be because the Head Department of International Education and Cooperation Dr. Shapovalov A. A. and the Chairman of the AFS Dr. Ray Atitsogbui didn't only supervised the work of the students but took active part in the organisation of the jobs and clearing of the rubbish themselves.

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