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Introducing the case: student associations

Introducing the case: student associations
Hi, my name is Nienke van Sligter, chair of the executive board of the KEI-week. The KEI-week is a general introduction week for all new students of the Hanze University of Applied Science and the University of Groningen. In 2016, the KEI-week will be organised for the 48th time. During the KEI-week, over 5,000 students from all disciplines have the possibility to learn about the city of Groningen and all it has to offer when it comes to culture, politics, sports, and students association. All new students are placed in a group with about 12 to 15 students and 2 or 3 senior students who will guide them through the city and teach them everything there is to know about studying in Groningen.
The executive board is responsible for organisation of the entire KEI-week which consists of 23 events in five days and uncountable events organised by one of the many students association in the city. As the chairman of the executive board, I, together with six other students, work a year full time to organise the KEI-week. The board here at the KEI-week help me develop social as well as practical skills, which I believe I can benefit from for the rest of my life.
Hello I am Lisa Perenboom, chair of the daily board of the cultural students centre, USVA. USVA is the cultural facility for all students in Groningen. And we are facilitated by the University of Groningen. USVA strives to encourage students to seek inspiration and develop themselves by means of art and culture. Every trimester, we offer about 60 courses such as dance, theatre, and comedy. We also organise events for students, such as a film festival or clothing swap. Most of our events are organised by committees consisting of students, coordinated by us as a daily board. USVA has a daily board of seven students. As chair, I am mainly concerned with the internal policy within USVA and the external relations with student organisations.
I find it interesting to look at what students want to do in the cultural field and with what courses and events they can develop their qualities. As a psychology student, I wanted to develop more practical skills by participating in a daily board where I can learn social and organisational practises. I think it is nice to experience how it is to work together with other students and what is needed to successfully organise an event.
Hi, my name is Emma Bloemhof. And I am the vice president of the daily board of the ACLO. The ACLO is a general Groningen students sports organisation. At the ACLO, we coordinate 49 different student sports clubs. And besides that, we offer 90 different sports. All these sports are available to all staff and students of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. At the moment, we have 18,000 students using our facilities. This makes us the biggest student sports organisation of Europe. A couple of examples of what sports we offer at the ACLO are soccer, tennis, squash, field hockey, but also extreme sports like kite surfing, skydiving, and gliding. One of our open hours is pilates.
We, as the daily board of the ACLO, run the day to day operations. We do this from our office at the sports centre. This involves management of the offered sports, the committees, finance, and all external communications. The possibility to run this organisation is a great responsibility, since such a great number of people and money are involved. As the vice president of the ACLO, I take care of all the marketing and sponsoring. This year is a study-free year for me. I have finished my bachelor communication and information sciences at the Faculty of Arts and decided that I wanted to do something to enrich myself. That’s why I decided to apply for the daily board of the ACLO.
With my wide interest in sport, this decision was an easy one to make. I’m learning a lot from this whole experience. It’s all about taking my studies into practise. I meet a lot of different people and get to do new things every day. This makes every day a surprise, and it’s such a great investment in the future, since I build a great network this year and get working experience on a high level.
My name is Trijntje Hoogendoorn at the daily board of SKLO. Apart from my board position, I study accountancy at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. What is the meaning of life? What are the activities in your life that you value? How do you make day to day choices based on your perception or what makes your life valuable? We, the SKLO, believe that it’s important to put these kinds of questions at the forefront of student education. Discussion, education, and self-reflection are the key merits by which students can develop their own answers to these topics. We encourage and support students to think about their life issues by building activities that promote discussion and education.
We provide financial support and promote cooperation between organisations that put these questions central. The SKLO connects student organisations, students, and the university. Being part of the board allows me to explore my own boundaries, to develop myself, and to be in contact with many different organisations.
Hello. My name is Stijn Bergman. And we are standing here in the main church of Groningen, the Martini Church. I’m the external relations officer, one of the six board members of Erasmus Student Network Groningen, ESN. We provide the international students with the opportunities to get the most out of their time here in Groningen, even if they are only here for one semester. We organise over 130 activities each year with the highlights being the introduction weeks for new students in September and in February. Being a part of ESN Groningen also means that you’re a part of the ESN network. We’re represented in 37 countries, and we have a current total 497 different sections, all linked together in one network.
In Groningen, we are supported by both the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University of Groningen. University of Groningen supports us by providing us with an office where we work and sell our tickets for activities from. They also subsidise the work that we do for international students, such as the introduction weeks. They also have a seat in our council of control and in the budgetary committee. This way, they supervise the way we do our best to organise activities for the international students. They also ask our input as to how they can better provide services to the international students. Currently, I am studying international communication, which in my opinion corresponds with the essence of ESN which is unity through diversity.
I study the intercultural differences in communication and how to better understand them. In my studies, I have encountered students from all over the world, which also sparked my interest in ESN. Being in the board of ESN Groningen is a full time job since we spend our days managing all the committees, the finances, and all the other side projects. We do this from our office in the city centre. We also have open ticket sales at our offices for 18 hours a week. This is evenly divided among the six of us. My role specifically is managing external relations and looking for new possible sponsorships. But how can this all benefit you?
To put it more delicately, what is the added value of doing a board here for your personal development? And how do you think that you, as being part of a student board, can contribute to the student community?

In this step, board members of the five largest student associations in Groningen will give a brief overview of their organisation.

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