17 November 2020

Homage to the associations

In these times of crisis and working from home, it turns out to be extremely difficult to get in touch with the residents of the campus, our students. After all, it is not very practical to go from door to door to ask how they feel about the VU and studying. Like Sinterklaas but on a bicycle. This intention is problematic on several levels; not all students live in Amsterdam, I don't even live in Amsterdam myself, I have no idea where everyone lives, and above all, I don't have the time or the inclination to ring their doorbell in all kinds of weather.

To stay informed of what is going on in the minds of my fellow students, there is a unique club of involved students who know exactly what is going on in the digital corridors. This club is also known as the University Associations Consultation (Dutch abbreviation: UVO) and I am proud to tell you that I am the chair of this 'organised mess'. Together with them I try to make the lives of our students a little more bearable. I don't feel like turning this piece of text into a huge adoration for the associations of the VU, but I'm going to do it anyway. The reason for this is very simple: it is the associations that have worked very hard over the past few months to keep in touch with their members (our students) and to keep them involved in the (digital) campus.

Let's not forget our associations, they're to the VU as the ear ropes to your facemask, binding and necessary

I hear amazing initiatives from digital get-togethers, escape-rooms, lectures and special student mentors who will provide extra assistance to first-year students in the coming period. How wonderful it would be if all students at the VU were members of one of our many associations. In this way very short lines of communication are created from the VU organisation to the individual student and we can really speak of a VU community.

To give you a small impression of the hard work of one of our associations, please pay attention to the following. Study association GeoVUsie has been busy mid-November delivering food and drink packages for their infamous Oktoberfest. I signed up for this and since this afternoon on the day of writing I am in possession of an egg, a potato, bacon bits, sauerkraut, Brand Weizenbier, a beer mug, a bag filled with I don’t know what, a keychain, and a nutmeg ball. In two days’ time we'll be going out of our minds and I'll be celebrating Oktoberfest together with GeoVUsie. I'm going to cook with the Earth Scientists, beat them with a pub quiz, and hopefully have many more Oktoberfest and Earth Science-like adventures.

Let's not forget our associations, they're to the VU as the ear ropes to your facemask, binding and necessary for good use.

Rutger Selier
TOP, National Student Participation

Rutger Selier USR 20 21



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