Josemaría Escrivá Obras

What, in your opinion, is the role of student associations and unions? What should be the nature of their relations with the academic authorities?

You are asking my opinion on a very broad question. Therefore I am not going to go into details, and will only deal with a few general points. I think student associations should intervene in matters which refer specifically to the university. There should be some representatives, freely elected by their fellow students, who are in contact with the academic authorities and who realise that they must work together in a common task. Here they have another opportunity to perform a real service.

You need a statute in order to carry out this common task in a reasonable way, with justice and with efficiency. Matters for discussion must be carefully studied and thought out. If the suggested solutions are properly studied and have been formed in a constructive spirit, and not with a desire to create divisions, they acquire authority and come to be accepted on their own merits.

To achieve this, the representatives of student associations need a sound education. First of all they should respect and cherish the freedom of others, and then their own freedom, with its corresponding responsibilities. Moreover, they should not desire personal publicity nor seek powers to which they have no right. Rather, they should seek the good of the university, which is the good of their fellow students. And, finally, the electors should choose their representatives for these qualities and not for reasons which are foreign to the efficacy of their university. Only thus will the university be a home of serene and noble scholarship, which will further the study and formation of all.

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