Lukáš Soják: I would like to see more action at dormitories

Getting to know other students, spending some time together and being able to fully enjoy the benefits of dormitories – new member of the dormitory council at the Vinařská dormitory Lukáš Soják decided to do something to make it happen.

19 Mar 2024

Two years ago he went from renting a private apartment to an MU dormitory for this very reason – to be closer to the student community. “First I lived at Tvrdého but I soon moved to the Vinařská dormitory. I am happy about the amenities and the rooms, all buildings are modern and renovated,” says the second-year student of programming and application development at the Faculty of Informatics.

His main source of disappointment comes from the virtually non-existent student life at the dormitory. “This is the largest dormitory of Masaryk University, and I was looking for some action. The fact is that students rarely actually interact within their buildings. They prefer to stay in their rooms, which is why the corridors are empty and quiet. I have many friends at other dormitories closer to the city centre, such as Tvrdého, náměstí Míru or Mánesova. Their residents interact considerably more,” he notes.

Having become a member of the dormitory council in autumn of 2023 he hopes to change things. “I would like for the Vinařská dormitory to have its student community willing to bring some life to the common areas, which has been almost non-existent,” he explains.

Too many students. Not enough washers.

Another problem that is bugging the students staying at Vinařská is the insufficient capacity of washers. “Considering the number of occupants, it certainly is insufficient. The dormitory has three buildings with almost 300 students each, which means a little over 800 students. Almost fifty percent of them are Erasmus programme participants, and many are from Slovakia. Some Czech students can go home for the weekend, so their laundry is taken care of, but there are still many students – approximately six hundred – who need to do their laundry at the dormitory. But there are only nine washers,” Soják explains, adding that commercial laundromats charge as much as CZK 150 per load.

Soják brought up the issue during the first meeting of dormitory councils with the management of the Accommodation and Catering Services. “I must appreciate that they are doing what they can. In November non-stop use of washers was permitted, which helped the situation. Before the change there were only limited operating hours of the washers and each student could do their laundry once in every two weeks on average. Adding new washers looked like a realistic solution but as it turned out it is not possible due to the lack of valves and drainage for them,” Soják says.

Online survey

In February Soják presented a proposal for the introduction of flat charges. “We announced an online survey on a proposal according to which students would pay CZK 10 to CZK 20 per hour. This charge could earn as much as CZK 50,000 per month to a transparent fund which could then be used for the purchase of equipment for the laundry room or the maintenance of washers and utilities. We want to know whether students would accept it,” Soják proposes.

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