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Regular version of the site

Volunteer Centre Opens at HSE University in St Petersburg

The student initiative aims to support the university community

VLADIMIR ALEXANDROV / HSE University in St Petersburg

The new volunteer centre started operating at HSE University in St Petersburg on March 4, 2022. The campus management promptly allocated premises and the necessary equipment for the student initiative.

More than a hundred students have joined the centre. Their work involves contacting students to find out if everything is okay and if they need any help or support. The volunteers also collect and process applications for psychological, legal, organisational and financial support received by the HSE Situation Centre, study offices, and Student Council contacts (via application form, email: studsovetspb@mail.ru, social networks: VK, Instagram and Telegram). More than 150 applications have been registered to date.

The campus administration processes the received information in order to promptly help students who are experiencing difficulties in connection with current world events.

The volunteer centre works seven days a week. Last weekend, HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov visited the centre during a business trip to St Petersburg. The students shared their impressions of their work as volunteers.

Vitaly Sergeev
Project Manager of the Digital Transformation Unit

My role in the project is a supporting one: I bring together analytics and databases. Students do all the important work themselves, and I can see how they value this project and how useful it is to the community as a whole. The volunteers are emotionally invested in it. I’ve heard that each of their phone conversations can last 10–15 minutes, that people continue communicating in direct messages, and that they keep supporting those who need help. They communicate not only with students, but also with parents who have a lot of questions too. The students who get calls from volunteers rarely refuse help. They are glad that they haven’t been forgotten and that they can get help. Out of the more than a hundred volunteers who signed up, about a third are active, but it would be impossible to provide work for a larger number. These are very active people—it is important for them to do something, to help, and it is great that this project was launched.

Sofya Ivanova
3rd-year student of the Bachelor’s Programme in Philology

I think that having support is very important for everyone right now. When we contact students, we help them feel like they’re not alone. Plus, it's always great to help others, so thanks to my work in the volunteer centre, I also feel like I’m doing something good.

Maria Alekseeva
4th-year student of the Bachelor’s Programme in Political Science and World Politics

I feel a bit nervous waiting for someone to pick up the phone, but when I hear a student’s voice, I feel happy and speak calmly. It's very nice when students share their thoughts and feelings and we can just talk for a couple of minutes. I am proud that HSE University has created this centre to help students, and I am very glad that I have become part of this great project.

March 15