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13 January 2021

Make your world bigger

After the Christmas break, I feel rested and recharged with new energy. I went into the new year full of good courage. Of course, looking ahead is part of a new year, but I also like to look back on the previous year. Time to look back now.

It’s time to reflect on the reasons why our council members signed up for the elections for the one and only University Student Council last spring. I hope that all students realise who are working hard every week, day in, day out, for their interests.

There are eleven council members in total who all want to dedicate themselves to the student community of the Vrije Universiteit, which is their main motivation to do this work. But each of them also has his or her own tasks.

My colleagues Mustafa and Ayesha want to make a positive contribution to the study experience of students. Ayesha is an international student, she finds the council work not only exciting, but even her best experience so far at this university.

I hear from colleague Rutger that the VU campus now feels like a second home to him. That is how much the students and the university have meant to him in the past few months.

Student representation has always been important, but in this pandemic it is even more urgent

Chairman Kata thinks that especially in this lockdown, we should pay extra attention to the students' interests. What are they up against? How can we help them? For example, we have constantly fought for sufficient study places on the campus. Signs on the ground floor of the main building show where there is still room. And for online proctoring, we made an easy student guide. We distributed this among students so that they know exactly what is expected of them during an examination with Proctorio.

Student representation has always been important, but in this pandemic it is even more urgent. Aisha underlines the importance of making students' voices heard, especially in times of corona crisis. After a year in the Faculty Student Council of Humanities, Kat wanted to achieve more at the central level. Internationalisation is her spearhead. Her colleague Kimberly has moved on from the same faculty student council to the university student council. Her work in the field of education and research was far from finished. We each represent the interests of students in our own way.

Vice-chair Soukaina and general council member Aisha emphasise that you also learn a lot about yourself during a council year. Sumeyye contributes to the essential formation of your identity during your time as a student. Selin wants to be part of that change, and yes, she is visionary, idealistic and more progressive than many a VU employee.

And myself? I just like to learn from all those different perspectives. I like to surround myself with people from other studies and students from other backgrounds. The university student council is the perfect place for this. And I still enjoy every moment of it!

Do you also want to experience such an interesting council year after reading my blog? You can, just mail us: usr@vu.nl and you will get all the information you need.

ALYSSA TERMAAT
Internal Relations, Public Relations, Recruitment & Elections

Alyssa Termaat

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