Published: 2021-11-14 at 18:07

Dear students,

The Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia on November 12, 2021 have issued Decision on the introduction of a special security measure in the form of compulsory testing of officials, civil servants and employees, civil servants and employees in public services, civil servants and employees in local and regional self-government and employees of companies and institutions (Official Gazette, No. 121/21, Croatian). The Decision was published on November 12, 2021 and enters into force on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

The Decision does not apply to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students or to assistants to students with disabilities (Item IX. Line 6). In accordance with Item IX. Line 2 of this Decision, the Dean's Collegium at its 55th meeting on November 13, 2021, decided that students of the Faculty of Croatian Studies are not required to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or testing for COVID-19 disease. Since the epidemic was declared in Croatia more than twenty months ago (March 11, 2020), the number of infections among members of the Croatian Studies' faculty community has been constant and significantly lower than in Zagreb and the Republic of Croatia, due to the exemplary discipline and application of measures to combat the epidemic.

In addition, the Dean's Collegium assessed that it would not be enforceable to subject 1,443 students of the Faculty of Croatian Studies to this regulation due to entrance to six buildings and 21 lecture halls of the Faculty where classes are held.

Unfortunately, since vaccinated people feel more protected and relaxed, and vaccination with existing vaccines has not been proven to create lasting resistance to infection and prevent transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, waiting in line to present a digital vaccination certificate could be a source of infection.

Finally, student attendance at classes is mandatory, and the state has not guaranteed reimbursement of testing costs for admission, so imposing a testing requirement on students would significantly compromise student standards and financial sustainability.

Since the apparent intention of the decision is to encourage the population to vaccinate, the Dean's Collegium recalls that the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia stipulates: "No one shall be subjected to any form of ill-treatment or, without his/her consent, to medical or scientific experiments" (Art. 23). Given the scientific doubts about the efficacy of vaccines, as well as the fact that infection is transmitted by both, vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, this constitutional provision is of particular importance.

Faculty members are required to be tested twice a week or provide proof that they are exempt from this requirement.

The epidemiological situation is monitored daily at the Faculty. The best news is that, thanks to the conscientiousness of the members of the faculty community, no transmission of the infection has been detected at our higher education institution. We want to maintain the good reputation of a safe place to study. Faculty members are in constant contact with the Office for Student Health Protection at the University of Zagreb. The Dean's Collegium once again paid tribute to the students and staff who implement points 4–8 of Faculty Council Instruction from September 6, 2021, Croatian).

Once again, I would like to thank the students and staff for their responsible behaviour thus far. Let persevere! The best thing we can do is: leave the windows open at the beginning of every class, keep distance, and don't let serenity fade.

Dean Ivo Džinić

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Hrvatski studiji Sveučilišta u Zagrebu pokrenuti su i ustrojeni 16. studenoga 1992., isprva samo kao dvosemestralni Sveučilišni komparativni studij hrvatske filozofije i društva. Taj je program potom preoblikovan u program redovitog četverogodišnjeg studija.

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