We as CSF are always busy working for you, but you there is a time to work and a time to look back on the things you have accomplished. Below we have listed the things we committed ourselves to and which we made happen.
At CSF, we think there is not enough emphasis on student/mental wellbeing within the SC as there are only some minor projects dispersed over the different committees within the SC. Therefore, CSF committed itself to have a special committee for this topic on the agenda. However, the other parties were not in favour of having such a committee, but after a fiery debate, CSF managed to have a student/mental wellbeing structurally included on the agenda of one of the committees. However, CS still thinks that having a student/mental wellbeing committee is important as 1) the whole committee will be dedicated to this leading to more awareness, ideas and concrete actions 2) it won’t drag the attention away from other important and committee specific topics that need to be discussed as well and 3) the projects that are now dispersed within the committees will be bundled and can be handled better.
CSF cares about the (mental) wellbeing of students!
It is well-known that sitting for too long is bad for your health, and it is recommended to limit the time of sitting in a chair on a working day to only 4 hours a day. Sitting too much on daily basis can increase the risk of diabetes, heart and vein diseases, and obesity as good chairs take over all body functions. Rather than sitting all day, it is advised by a lot of health organisations to alternate sitting with standing while working and have regular movement. However, students sit a lot throughout the years, especially during the self-study weeks and the exam weeks. Recently, CSF noticed that the number of standing desks available for students is quite limited, which directly impacts the health of the students. In addition, working while standing also helps the students to concentrate more as they have a more active attitude, which indirectly impacts the results students obtain as they can better take up the study material. What should be considered when buying working facilities is the ergonomic aspects. This is also true for standing desks, which means that the standing desks have to be adjustable to fit everyone perfectly. Currently, the standing desks that are not there are not adjustable in height. This shortcoming facilitates a CANS stimulating environment, which means that students can only use them for a short period as standing for a long time can be exhausting.
Sit-standing desks are adjustable in height, so they stimulate the alternation between sitting and standing which reduces the risks mentioned above. Therefore, CSF suggested having sit-standing desks on campus, especially in the libraries on campus. At this moment (period 6 2022) we collaborate with the library of Forum to have a pilot with sit-standing desks.
CSF cares about healthy students!
Before admittance, Wageningen University (WU), through the Student Service Center (SSC) provides information to new students in their preparations to join WUR and the Annual Introduction Days (AID). However, the information provided via SSC and during the AID is insufficient or disseminated through websites, emails and other means of information. A centralized and easy access brochure with all information and requirements for starting a life and studies in Wageningen is needed.
CSF and S&I collaborate to close the knowledge gaps as we believe that the knowledge gaps can be closed if more effort is channelled into making elaborate instructions with the same level of detail across all nationalities. First, a working group, consisting of students of different nationalities, will be responsible for finding out very important information yet missing in preparing new students for their studies.
Next, the missing information would be used to improve what is currently available to new students. The new proposal would be divided into two categories namely travel information and arrival information for Dutch and Non-Dutch students. To begin with travel information, this should target Non-Dutch students with an elaborate roadmap. The roadmap would be stepwise procedures to secure accommodation & bank account appointments before arrival and obtain documentation to enter the Netherlands. Dutch students can also receive an overview of stepwise procedures to secure accommodation and travel information to ease the stress of traveling to Wageningen.
The next category about arrival information should also include a road map on information prepared for Dutch and Non-Dutch students. The roadmap should include stepwise information such as localization and registration with Wageningen municipality for Dutch and Non-Dutch students. Students coming outside of the Netherlands need information such as getting their BSN, opening a bank account, DigiD, applying for housing subsidy, etc.
The arrival category can include information about the study and student associations, points of interest or necessities such as cycling information, and leisure/sporting activities. Most importantly, information in the arrival category should highlight how to proceed when new students find them interesting. Moreover, the info market of the AID can be used as a platform to share information on WUR services with newly admitted students. Here, the school can set up a stand for WUR with leaflets detailing the available services.
CSF cares about the social integration of both international as well as Dutch students!
In the Netherlands, biking is the common mode of transport for students. Biking is free, fun, and convenient, yet ruled by Dutch traffic rules. This makes cycling an integral part of the Dutch culture, with many cycle routes throughout the country. Foreigners, especially non-Dutch students traveling to the Netherlands, want to be integrated in the Dutch culture, especially by learning how to cycle. The majority of the newly admitted non-Dutch students can cycle. However, there are still students who cannot cycle before relocating for their study in the Netherlands. In addition, non-Dutch students are not aware of the Dutch traffic rules.
Consequentially, they might face the inconvenience of not getting around easily before the first period starts. The students concerned opt for walking to the city centre or the university, but this activity takes a longer time compared to biking and might involve delays. Affected students rely on their fellow students to learn how to cycle. However, their fellow students usually do not teach them the Dutch traffic rules and the ways to cycle safely on the road. This often causes dangerous traffic situations, putting themselves and others at risk. For these reasons, CSF identifies the need for a professional approach establishing a structural way of teaching first-timers how to cycle, including the Dutch traffic rules, before their study starts.
CSF would like to have long-term, professionally-led cycling lessons for first-timers WU students. The proposal is that these cycling lessons will be organised annually. Currently (period 6 2022), CSF is discussing this initiative with the Executive Board.
CSF cares about the social integration of both international as well as Dutch students!
According to the university, there should be silence rooms to contemplate, pray or for breastfeeding. However, CSF went to check all the locations that should exist according to the website and found out that they are non-existing.
Currently, CSF is looking into having a/multiple silence room(s) on campus.
CSF cares about reflecting and contemplating students!
CSF also wants to represent our constituency on a national level as we think they are worth the effort to
contribute to education at the national level. For this reason, CSF is involved in striving to become a member of Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO; not to be confused with ISOW). Becoming a member is a long project in which we had to present ourselves to their members and be actively involved in the committee higher education, but we have started our journey as we are very happy to announce that we have become an aspiring member for a year.
Next years, we will be involved intensively with ISO to represent our constituencies at a national level and to share in the mutual and equal exchange of ideas. So, hopefully we can become full members of ISO in the academic year 2022-2023, so we can become full members with voting rights on the position papers.
CSF cares about equal representation!
We organized two activities during the Christmas break: multiple voluntary activities in collaboration with Stichting
Present and a Christmas carol with a potluck in collaboration with International Student Organization Wageningen.
The multiple voluntary activities under the theme ‘lend a hand’ were successful. We baked cookies and delivered them to the elderly, helped someone move from their previous house to another one, cleaned Wageningen by collecting litter, and organized an activity for women. It was a very nice day, and it was very good to see that we could mean something to the people of Wageningen during these hard times. It also contributed to the connection between international and Dutch students and between students, people from the asylum centre and the residents of Wageningen, which is a spearhead for Student Council and was raised by CSF.
Unfortunately, the Christmas carol was cancelled due to the lockdown. We had nice plans to sing Christian songs, have
a potluck and play board games afterwards, but perhaps it could occur next year. Although we didn’t expect it to happen, we still had our rehearsal for
the songs on Saturday morning, and it was good to make music together.
CSF cares about (lonely) students, also during the holidays!
In January 2021, during a discussion with the CSF Support Team a complaint was raised about the dangerous nature of the crossing at the Thymospad (crossing between Orion and the Bongerd). It was suggested in this meeting for traffic lights to be placed at this location, just as is done at the Campus Plaza crossing. Therefore, CSF has put the initiative forward that the university should change this dangerous crossing and the traffic situation in general as there are already multiple cyclists hit by a car. At this moment, the university is looking into the subject and will come with a proposal to make the traffic situation at campus safer. This proposal will be send to the student council so they are actively involved in the process.
CSF cares about the safety of students!
During the christmas break and at the heart of the lockdown period, CSF put together a Christmas activity to keep the students who would be staying in Wageningen engaged and active in a safe manner. The Walk2Connect Wageningen was organized with permission from a copperative in the USA known as Walk2Connect. The activity included a walk where two brochures are provided. One with a map showing five historic locations in the city centre of Wageningen about the second world war and also the Grote Kerk Wageningen. The second pamphlet had information about these locations and teaser questions. After the walk, which was to be done in pairs, the participants would take part in a quiz and winc CSF goodies depending on their scores. This activity was submitted to and adopted for the Christmas buddy acitvity organized by the university.
During the Winter AID, CSF was approched to reorganize this event for the incoming February inake students. This was because the wal was a great and fun way to learn about the city of wageningen, make friends and do both of these in a safe manner. This really showed the impact that the activity had during the Christmas break.
CSF cares about lonely students!