07 April 2021

Green light for improving student welfare

If one year ago someone had asked me “Where do you see yourself in one year?”, I would have probably said “living a corona-free life” but I would have never thought of saying “Writing a Project Plan that will improve students’ wellbeing.”. As of today, I still look back in time and cannot believe in the skills and knowledge I have developed and used for and while writing this Project Plan. But what is this plan about? It initially includes two different ideas in it (ideas that will turn into action soon). One is a Student Wellbeing Point and the other is a Student Wellbeing Panel. Long story short, we wanted to initiate a plan that would connect every single student wellbeing initiative taking place at the VU and communicate them to students by students efficiently and comfortably. Hopefully, when we finally develop and finalize everything, we (students) will benefit from it as much as possible. However, I will not explain every detail of our plan in this blog. I will rather tell you the story behind the scenes.

We wanted to initiate a plan that would connect every single student wellbeing initiative taking place at the VU

This project plan carries the valuable marks and ideas of various people from the University Student Council and from the services of VU. However, the main responsibility of the plan was in the hands of student-oriented support portfolio holders: my colleague Kimberly van den Ouden and me.  This has been a hectic journey for both of us because we had no idea about how to write a “project plan” or how to plan a budget for different job opportunities. Next to these obstacles, this plan was not just welcomed with open arms, we had to do our best work to be able to get a “green light” for our ideas in the first place before even being able to start the official process. There have been moments where we thought that we would never get the approval and we would never be able to do something for student wellbeing. Half of the time I felt like I had no idea about what was going on and the other half of the time I realized that Kimberly and I were the only ones who could do this because we were the ones, as students and student representatives, who knew the struggles of the students and what we needed for them best.

It hasn’t been easy at all… We had to play political games, act smart, think ahead, plan out, and study while doing all of this. At last, we managed to collect everyone from different services of VU who have completely different tasks or missions but the same dream and long-term vision together. During our meeting with the Executive Board, right after my exam that I had to study for until 4 am, we received a green light for it. The reason I am writing this is to let the future council members know that “You got this!” and “Do not let anyone, not even yourself, demolish your motivation, keep believing in yourself, your teammate, and your dream.”

Student-orientated Support, Quality of Education. Public Relations

Selin Cakmak USR



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