Urgent action of the Vaud Academic Society

Cyrille Piguet
Cyrille Piguet is the president
of the Vaud Academic Society.
© DR

President of the Société Académique Vaudoise (SAV), a specialist in inheritance law, lawyer Cyrille Piguet answers our questions about a donation of 200,000 francs in favour of UNIL students. This fund will be managed by the Service des affaires sociales et de la mobilité étudiante (SASME).

How did you come up with the idea of this donation in favour of students affected by financial difficulties in connection with Covid-19?

It started from a discussion with the members of the Geneva Association of Academic Foundations, where I sit as President of the SAV. Another foundation offered to support students from UNIGE, so it was natural for me to support those from UNIL, some of whom are affected by the cessation of a professional activity which was necessary for them to live and study. Every year the SAV provides 500,000 francs to various UNIL actors in the form of grants and support for publications, we also award prizes, and I thought it was important that we should also be present to support students when they need it most.

How is this support different from the usual support?

Precisely because it is exceptional due to an exceptional situation, which has serious consequences for many students. In this respect, I would like to stress that the usual support will in no way be compromised, despite the catastrophic scholarship results linked to the current crisis. Initially, we had imagined that this emergency aid could be used, for example, to help needy students acquire a computer, and then we decided to rely on the Department of Social Affairs and Student Mobility for the distribution of this money; they are in contact with the students and know better than we do what the needs are and how to meet them. Our only requirement was to be able to obtain a feedback on the people and the amounts distributed, which was granted to us.

The visibility of your actions is important to you…

It is essential because we want to be recognized for what we are, an important partner of the academic world in the canton de Vaud. This visibility allows us to make our actions better known and thus encourage the donations, bequests and legacies that we receive and which allow us to be present and generous when necessary. On the other hand, we also want to make ourselves better known to the potential beneficiaries of our actions so that they can send us their requests. At the moment, we are thinking of those young people who are suffering most from the situation and to whom we can offer this support.

Interview by Nadine Richon

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