Become the 2021 Campus Columnist

The competition for the 2021 DUB Campus Columnist is open to all employees and students at Utrecht University. From January of next year, the winner will write a blog for us every two weeks.

A campus columnist writes about interesting things relating to the university or student life. The columns can, for instance, be about online education, working from home in times of corona, the university’s ‘new normal’, racism at the university, loneliness among students, or the mores at a fraternity. Workloads among teachers and employees, the everlasting battle of making the UU more sustainable, solidarity between students and teachers, bureaucratic hoops to jump through when trying to submit a research application, or student stress can also be topics.

The jury would like to see the campus columnist look beyond the screen in front of them. We’re all in our own virtual bubbles, but the campus columnist needs to transcend that, in a way that’s amusing and simultaneously strikes a nerve. The jury appreciates linguistic flair and a sense of humour. “A critical eye with some comic relief,” as one of the jury members said. The campus columnist has an opportunity to show what life at the university or in student life is really like. “In these times, the campus columnist is allowed to take a stand, and make a point in their column.” Preferably a point that can surprise the reader. The jury will receive anonymised versions of the columns; that means they don’t know who the author is, or whether it’s a student or employee.

Eye for detail
The 2021 Campus Columnist will be the successor to the two current columnists, Francis van den Brink and Keerthi Sridharan. Francis is a student of Language and Culture, and has an eye for detail in her columns. She describes a bicycle accident, for instance, that happens right in front of her. And she tries to relativise students’ current difficult situation in her column ‘We are privileged’.

Keerthi is an international student, who studied at University College Utrecht until this past summer. She’s just started her Master’s in Linguistics. She doesn’t shy away from difficult themes like racism or the pandemic, but manages to break the cycle of panic attacks with wonderful recipes, like these cinnamon rolls. She recently created a nice overview or the types of classmates you encounter on Teams.

Three nominees
The jury will nominate three columnists from all the submissions. During DUB’s New Year’s drinks, the 2021 Campus Columnist will be announced. It’s not yet clear whether this will be held online.

Attached to the title of Campus Columnist is the Erik Hardeman stipend of 1,000 euros. For years, Hardeman published his weekly column, Schreef, in the U-blad. From the student fraternities, the university board room, or the Institute of Raeto-Roman languages and cultures, the university life was analysed in an original way, with a little venom, but always with humour. After Erik Hardeman left, DUB looked for a comparable, opinionated writer, who shares their views of the university from the inside. In 2012, this became the Campus Columnist.

Who’s eligible to participate in the competition?
All students and employees who are connected to Utrecht University on January 1, 2021, can participate. Students who will graduate in 2021 can still participate.

How to participate
In order to participate in the race for UU Campus Columnist, you have to send in two columns. The columns have to be surprising takes on university life, and cannot exceed 500 words. Send the columns to before December 1st, 2020.

Who’s in the jury
Once again, DUB has managed to assemble a professional jury who will judge all applications anonymously. The jury is composed of the following people:

  • Geert Buelens is professor of Modern Dutch Literature at Utrecht University, as well as visiting professor of Dutch literature at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His research is mainly about the exchange between literature and society. He’s published extensively about Paul van Ostaijen, avant-garde poetry, nationalism, and the poetry of World War I. In 2018, he published his book ‘The ‘60s, a cultural history’. He’s also written a lot of columns and opinion pieces for, among others, NRC, De Volkskrant, De Standaard, De Morgen, and Le Soir.
  • Rosa Falkenburg is project leader for Parnassos. Among other things, she organised the UUnited music festival in TivoliVredenburg. She also wrote the new university song. As singer-songwriter, she’s working on her own theatre show. Rosa studied Theatre, Film, and Television studies.
  • Winnie Henderson has started her Master’s in Toxicology & Environmental Health after graduating from her Bachelor’s in Chemistry. Last year, she was in the Sciences Faculty Council. She’s active with study association Proton, and is a freelance writer for DUB.
  • Ries Agterberg, editor-in-chief for DUB. He studied Dutch in Utrecht. He published a number of books of poetry and a novella.

1,000-euro stipend
The Campus Columnist will receive the Erik Hardeman stipend worth 1,000 euros. In return, the Campus Columnist will write a column for DUB at least once every two weeks for one year.

If there are questions about the position of Campus Columnist, please direct them to Ries Agterberg: