Szinapszis: Summer University finished this Saturday, and I think we can say, it was a success; but after all, this is not the end of the school-year. What makes this 250th year so special?

Tamás Hegedüs: I think the 250th year isn’t important just for the events. It synthesizes the whole spirituality referring to the students: it is obvious that students can relate to this. Our aim was to have this year more in focus than Semmelweis200 last year and let everybody feel the flow coming with this. Students are proud of this, and this is quite shown with the #SE250 marks on social media and the number of students who appeared at Summer University.

Sz.: Part of this jubilee is the flow coming from events, as you mentioned. How can the Students’ Union help the students, who want to be part of this flow?

T. H.: Our job for the Summer University was to gather enough participants – when we started organising, we thought having 350 students who attend the programmes would be a huge success. Reaching out to the lecturers was also something we had to do. After all, on two days we had all lecture halls full, which means 1 769 students (referring to the year of formation of our university). On Saturday, maybe because of the bad weather, we „only” had 1 200 students – but it is still a huge number, they could have chosen bathing or hiking too. People who chose the Summer University became richer with countless amount of useful knowledge, I think.

Sz.: What are the plans for the 250th jubilee?

T. H.: If we look at this school-year, our aim is to organise every event as before, but add the spirituality of the 250th year. It is also very important to have new events, so we are planning new happenings and other surprises for the students.

Sz.: Why is this year exemplary? How can we keep the flow for the upcoming years?

T. H.: I started working at the Students’ Union, because I found the distance between teachers, academy seniors and students too large. Luckily, we had a volte-face at the university, which caused the reduction of this distance: teachers and students came closer to each other and this made a Semmelweis-family. In my opinion, it is very important to eliminate more barriers at the same time: we could open up to foreign students, we try to organise more events where we are together – after all, we all study at the same university. Besides, it is also a main goal that we all use the unified university facade and communication. If this happens, it can lead us to another Summer University, obviously, not in terms of the 250th jubilee, but in other ways.

Sz.: So making new traditions is one of the main goals, but so is to keep around the feeling of the 250th year as long as possible…

T. H.: We shouldn’t get lazy after this school-year is over, but we have to aknowledge that Summer University was a product of several groups of people’s hard work. We can’t expect from them to do this every year, while only sleeping 4-5 hours a day and still working their normal jobs. Our aim is to not let people believe this was the „big bang” and the following years are just the echo. I am sure, there will be such high results in the future.

Sz.: So Summer University and the whole year is engulfed by the spirituality of the 250th jubliee: to keep our values and traditions, but move on in terms of innovation at the same time.

T. H.: Yes, exactly. I’ve speaken with some of the main organisers and they all agreed that the number of attendees at the lectures (which was full every day) doesn’t matter as much as the good mood. When you entered the main hall, you saw people talking with each other everywhere. It is one of the main purposes to let people get closer to each other. The truth is, Summer University became more high-standard because of this, the students didn’t just came to another regular lecture, they had the chance to experience something really unique.

Photo: Flóra Lendvai