"As universities that are close to society, we always consider the social context that surrounds us. Today, this means taking into account the situation in the hospitals, where staff have been fighting the consequences of the Covid-19 virus on a daily basis for many months. They are now on the front line again, on the verge of exhaustion and demoralisation. It also means: once again taking fewer risks as a community, to be able to maintain the functioning of our health system, our education system and our society as a whole. Solidarity comes first," rectors Annemie Schaus (ULB) and Caroline Pauwels (VUB) say.
The two sister universities believe that, given the current health situation and their own values, they cannot uphold the annual invitation to thousands of members of their communities to gather in the streets of Brussels to celebrate Saint Verhaegen. The ceremonies originally planned for 19 November will therefore be postponed to a more suitable time in the second semester of this academic year, public health permitting.
"Deciding to suddenly go digital under Covid was extremely difficult. This decision is equally so. We know how important it is for students and alumni to be able to see each other on occasions such as St-V. We were also looking forward to it. We took the decision after much deliberation and with great sorrow in our hearts. But we remain resolutely optimistic and believe that, through this gesture by our two universities, we are doing our bit to help everyone's effort to overcome this pandemic," the rectors conclude.