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Blog Daniël de Vries - President of the Student Union

MY START DURING COVID-19

About 8 months ago I started my Student Union board year. Highly motivated and ready to make an impact. Then corona happened in my third week. Because of this, I got extremely motivated instead and I was ready to start making an impact immediately! As an umbrella organization for all student organizations related to the UT, we had to take our role in handling this pandemic. We did not only thought about it, but we were also expected to take this role upon us.

I will never forget being called by the Rector Magnificus in my third week on a Monday evening in the middle of my first lockdown activity, a FIFA tournament together with my housemate. After I already had a couple of beers, he called me and told there were house parties on campus and asked me what he should do. After calming him down, I promised him we would use our network of student organizations to get hold on the situation. Then I continued playing FIFA and won the tournament. I really like this story. It shows to me that being a Student Union board member has a really serious side, but can go together with a lot of fun.

INVOLVE STUDENTS DURING IMPORTANT DECISIONS

During the past year I spent a lot of time on defending the interests of my fellow students at a high-policy level at the UT. I saw that a lot of decisions were taken without involving students, even though those decisions often had a lot of impact on them. I made it my number one priority to change this during my board year and I am proud to tell that I made huge progress on this. Almost all high-policy meetings at the UT now have a student member and before making big impact decisions the Student Union is often asked to give their input.

With this change we could make a lot of impact in helping our fellow students especially concerning the corona measures the UT took. We were able to make sure that the UT made it a guideline that students have only one lecture in the evening per week and that they are free the next morning, but could also open the Bastille as one of the first UT buildings, because we could convince the Executive Board of the UT about the importance to work with your fellow board members.

Besides strengthening the position of the Student Union within the UT and defending the interest of my fellow students, I had some other great projects during the year. I changed our statutes for the first time since our establishment, made a new HR policy, wrote our new mission statement, defined our role within Shaping2030 and a lot more.

HAVING AN AMAZING TIME

The past 8 months were really amazing. Never before it had been so easy for me to jump out of my bed each morning and start working. I really believe that what we are doing at the Student Union empowers our fellow students to achieve More Than A Degree and with that knowledge it is impossible to not love each day of being the President of the Student Union!