“The Independent Students' Association (NZS) influenced the fate of Poland, it took part in the fight for freedom, whilst today it nurtures that freedom and builds a better reality,” PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on the 40th anniversary of the organisation’s establishment.
It was 40 years ago, on February 17, 1981, that Science, Higher Education and Technology Professor Janusz Górski approved the registration of the NZS, conceding to the postulates of striking students who demanded the possibility of establishing their own, sovereign organisation that would represent their interests.
The PM said that the event gave hope to the anti-communist opposition. He added that the NZS stems from the time of “the hot Polish golden autumn of 1980” and “was a movement tracing back its roots to the May events of 1977 in Kraków, the death of Stanisław Pyjas and the establishment of the Solidarity Students’ Committee… The core of the [NZS] leaders originates from those turbulent dark times of the Kraków yearly students carnival.”
Mr Morawiecki stressed that for the past 40 years the NZS has exemplified that the university days are not just a time of freedom but also responsibility. “Other young generations are now discovering that it is worth engaging in civic matters. After all, what is the academia spirit if not the use of knowledge and skills for the better good of the community?”
He added that the NZS built not just a community alone but also decided on the lives of many “especially the fate of our homeland.”