The Student Chamber of the Council of HEIs (SK RVŠ) awarded the Jan Opletal Prize for the tenth time (CJO). CJO Committee selected two laureates – Mgr. Michal Nguyen and Pavel Švanda in memoriam.
The ceremony was held on Tuesday, November 16, as part of the Velvet Student´s concert in the Great Hall of the Žofín Palace.
“As well this time the prize was given to the personality who demonstrated the exceptional contribution in the development of the academic community, who defended academic rights and freedoms and strengthened student rights and freedoms, the price is given as well for the significant contribution in the fight against injustice, for the equal treatment and opportunities or against any discrimination in the past period, “explained the chairman of SK RVŠ Michal Farník.
This year, 12 students or a group of students were nominated for the award. The special statuette was designed by Sára Skoczková from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, who won the student’s art competition and was given to Mgr. Michal Nguyen, student, and academic senator of Palacký University in Olomouc. Michal within his activities consistently participates in the promotion of the activities of the UPOL Academic Senate, he contributed to the establishment of the ombudsman at universities throughout the Czech Republic, he founded at his university Commission for sustainable Palacký University (KUUP) and he has been actively fighting for the protection and strengthening the student rights and freedoms, as well as he shows commitment to the implementation of supporting activities such as equal treatment and he actively fights against discrimination. “It is an amazing feeling, many people throughout the country would deserve such an award. I appreciate that the Committee chose me. It is an honour, but also commitment.” explains in his immediate reactions during the ceremony.
The family of the laureate Pavel Švanda received the award in memoriam. Pavel Švanda not only by his lyrics opposed the totalitarian communist regime and actively fought against undemocratic values, but he also believed in freedom and had hope for the future. Pavel Švanda was a Christian literary activist and student at the Faculty of Architecture, BUT. Pavel joined the Christian movement around Charter 77 during the fall of 1980, as well as he knew members in the Prague dissent. In 1981, he refused to vote in compulsory elections. He paid for his moral values and faith in freedom the highest tax. In the fall of 1981, his dead body was found at the bottom of the Macocha Gorge.
M. Tesařová, D. Hodulíková, D. Solak