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The summer is short but long

Soon it is time for a much-needed summer break for many of us. Every year when the summer months come around, it’s the same scenario: lots of things to finish before the end of June, but also, hopefully, a fairly relaxed time period before work activities start again in August.

Universities have their own pace, which is very much linked to the semesters and student attendance on campus. When the term ends, it doesn’t take long before it’s time to enjoy the reception activities and the life they bring to our beautiful campuses in August.

However, there are a total of eleven conferences on campus during the summer period, mainly now in June. These are important meetings where our researchers host international gatherings in their respective subject areas and where we also have an opportunity to welcome guests to our beautiful campus.

The spring has been partly characterised by the demonstrations against the war in Gaza. Like many other universities, KTH has also had its fair share of tent camps, loud activism, vandalism of both the external and internal environment and many people on the move on campus. I am aware that many people have felt uncomfortable with both the vandalism and the protests, while at the same time expressing sympathy for the right to express one’s views.

While both reactions are in some sense justified, I do recognise that the presence of protesters and the expressions of protest have led to a reduction in safety on campus lately.

Recently, the demonstration in the courtyard has ended and it is my hope that this expression of opinion will now take on other forms that involve more conversation and dialogue between different parties around society.

KTH needs to focus on education and research. We need to rally around the upcoming start of the semester and show care and trust in each other’s positions rather than distrust and violence.

In a few days, it will be 20 June and the summer solstice. The longest day of the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted most towards the sun. It sometimes seems strange that by the time most of us go on vacation, the days have already started to get shorter. That’s when you have to remind yourself that there are still many weeks of summer left and that the sun has only just begun to warm up the bathing water in our seas and lakes.