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Anti-Communist Student Organizations and the Polish Renewal by Charles Wankel

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By Charles Wankel

Offers an account of the most important function of Polish scholar activities within the rebirth in their state. It presents a background of scholar activism in Poland and explains the context within which contemporary adjustments have occurred.

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Extra resources for Anti-Communist Student Organizations and the Polish Renewal

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The important problems facing the country should also be reflected at the institutions of higher learning. 145 Among the major issues discussed in these documents were the necessity of creating a student movement that would be independent, autonomous, encompassing a wide spectrum of students, and open to all to join; and, the need to democratize academic life and create meaningful opportunities for students and faculty to participate in curricula development. 146 A large part of the Theses for Discussion of the Independent Student Movement critically evaluated the SZSP: The subjection of the leadership of the SZSP to the university's administration has eliminated its viability as an alternative for students for the defense of their rights and interests.

A Critical Evaluation of the SKSs. Although, by the time the SKSs appeared, any legitimacy the SZSP might have had as a representative of the nation's students had been dissipated, the SKSs were unable to offer serious competition to the SZSP in handling matters of everyday student life, for they did not have access to the requisite resources to provide the services and activities that the SZSP was delivering. The SZSP, as the officially designated student organization, had the support of Communist Party and school administrators, and therefore ample funding to develop activities in many areas that were beyond the resources of the SKSs.

168 The SKS initially held open meetings in the lobby of the Humanities Department of the University of Gdansk. On occasion they drew up to 400 participants. Especially well attended were discussions with the school's SZSP chapter on the future of the student movement. However the university administration decided to enjoin the building's use and, on 16 March 1978, barricaded the entrance to the building before the time the meeting was scheduled to begin. Then, when approximately 200 students attempted to convene the meeting in a neighboring building, the university prorector 169 personally interrupted them.

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