Now that we are allowed to do more on campus again, we can have more activities and meetings there. The Executive Board has therefore decided to repeat the Keep in Touch campaign. Rector Magnificus Karen Maex: ‘Attending university is so much more than studying. Interacting, reasoning, discussions in order to come to better ideas and results, making friends for life: it is all part of your student life. The pandemic has put all of that on the back burner, to put it mildly. That is why we are extending the Keep in Touch campaign to support students.’
The aim of Keep in Touch is to support as many activities for students as possible, organised by study associations. At the beginning of the year, this resulted in many enjoyable online meetings, but also, for example, a film workshop in a small group. The follow-up to the Keep in Touch campaign will be slightly different, in that it will run from June to December. Study associations can submit entries throughout the year and will receive a one-off financial contribution if the idea meets the conditions.
For many students, study associations play a crucial role in their social life at university. Various study associations successfully submitted ideas for activities for the first round of Keep in Touch to bring students – both members and non-members – closer together. Many students, especially those in the first year of their studies, got to know their fellow students better through the activities organised by study associations. In other words, study associations have a connecting role – yet the coronavirus pandemic has made fulfilling that role much more challenging. For this reason, the Keep in Touch campaign offers study associations a helping hand in organising creative activities within the coronavirus restrictions.
Elin Swaan of VSPA: ‘All Ears is an initiative for students, by students. All Ears will be a call line run by psychology students where all UvA students will be able to call to for a listening ear or just to have a nice chat with a fellow student. Thanks to the help of the Keep In Touch fund, this initiative was given a chance and is currently being developed further. So keep your eyes open for All Ears!’
Jobeleen Perez of faculty association FMG: ‘On 14 April -during the UvA Health Week- the FV-FMG will organise a big online silent disco party in which all UvA students can participate. Students will be able to watch the livestream for free or they can buy a ticket which includes a party box with silent disco headphones, snacks, decorations, drinks and more. The livestream will be hosted by PALET: an established name in Amsterdam that offers the cultural sector a platform in Amsterdam nightlife and sells out venues. By giving students the opportunity to safely party at home with their flatmates, we hope to contribute positively to the mental health of our students. Without the Keep in Touch campaign, the cooperation with UvA Health week and the contribution of ASVA, we would not have been able to achieve this.’
Ada Örken from study association Cognito: ‘Yognito is a weekly online yoga class, organized by the student organization Cognito with the help of USC. We planned these classes for the month of January after hearing from our friends that they are feeling lonely, demotivated and inactive. It was a great success and we received a lot of positive feedback. When we heard about the Keep in Touch grant, we got really excited and applied immediately with the hope of continuing Yognito after January. We are very enthusiastic about the approval of the Keep In Touch grant, which enables us to continue Yognito until the end of the academic year. Now Yognito can continue to bring our community together and combat isolation while at the same time bringing some movement to our bodies, which are stiff from sitting in front of a computer the whole day.’
Jang Kapgen from Off-Screen: ‘With the help of Keep in Touch, we’ll be organising a Film Workshop Weekend -whenever we’re allowed to- during which we’ll give participants the chance to work on their own film project under professional supervision. We will have workshops about script writing, cinematography and post-production to teach participants the basics. However, the actual learning will be through praxis of course! Our aim is to showcase students that we can always create films, even during these hard times.’
Dawit Bakker from study association JHV Phaedrus: 'Our annual pub quiz has to be organised online this year. But how can first-year students really get to know each other online? I don't know anything about you and you don't know anything about me, so it's not easy to start a conversation. Through Keep in Touch, we will invest in ways that help break down social barriers. We will do this, for instance, by making a face book, which enables students to learn fun facts about each other and to enter into a specific conversation. That promises to be a great icebreaker during the online pub quiz!’
Just a few more things...
No, only study associations can submit applications. However, it is possible to submit an application as a student in cooperation with your study association, so contact your study association to discuss your idea.
Alcohol may be consumed, as long as this is done in a responsible manner. During the selection process, we will also look at the role of alcohol in your activity. Alcohol as part of the programme (such as during a welcome/closing drinks reception) is a different story than a beer pong tournament or cocktail workshop. Please keep in mind not to operate a vehicle or bicycle after consuming alcohol.
We additionally ask that you take into account other students who may not drink (e.g. due to their religious beliefs or for health reasons).
Let's keep our fingers crossed that this doesn't happen, but make sure to have a back-up plan.
You can email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.