09 September 2020

Not back to normal, but to better

The academic year has started and it feels weird. I walk into the main building of the VU and head directly towards the Studentend0k. In the meantime, I only see 1 or 2 people, who are also busy with their work and who, like me, have to get used to being back on campus. You don't hear dozens of conversations mixed up or the sound of the milk being warmed up and knocked off at the coffee corner.

I remember very well how eventful the new year was when I was on the council last year. A new world opened up for you as a student, both literally and figuratively. You take part in the opening of the academic year, you are physically introduced to all the services of the VU, your fellow councillors can also be found in the office most of the time, and if you need someone from the organisation very quickly, you can usually drop by immediately. If you were looking for a quieter place to work, there was always a place available at the office of the official secretary. This commotion has been completely replaced this year by an (ominous) silence and distance. A distance that unfortunately is not only physical, but also mental.

I hope that the issues of student wellbeing and student involvement will be tackled firmly at this time of crisis

Although we have been through the transitional phase for some time now, the developments in this period of crisis remain new and uncertain. For many students, this brings a feeling of powerlessness. Moreover, the end of the crisis seems far from near and many students are digi-tired. As a university, we have already taken some steps in offering hybrid education where it is needed. However, I hope that we will not only see this development as necessary and temporary, but that we will change our outlook because the education of the future requires it of us. I hope that the issues of student wellbeing (at a distance), innovative forms of education (which guarantee quality and which do not necessarily take place on campus), and issues of student involvement will be tackled firmly at this time of crisis. As a councillor, I hope to be able to make my contribution to this.

Soukaina Abouhssen,
vice chair

Souaina Abouhssen_USR_rechtenvrij


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