'Give more support to the student organizations in these difficult times'.
Dear members of the Executive Board,
According to Prime Minister Mark Rutte last Tuesday "It's up to us, it's up to all of us”. The worst peak seemed to be behind us. Restrictions were cautiously eased and Utrecht as a vibrant student city slowly started up again. But the figures don't lie; the number of infections has been rising sharply for weeks in a row. The main infections take place at parties, at home, at work, and in groups of family, friends and acquaintances. Student life is buzzing with social contacts and activities, which has led to an increase in Covid-19 infections in this group as well. We now speak of a second (partial) lockdown.
Student associations are aware of the dangers of the coronavirus and their social role in this crisis. Student organizations have taken appropriate measures: safety regulations are in place everywhere; attendees are registered upon entry and safety rules are strictly enforced. In addition, board members of 7 umbrella (koepel) organizations and 3 higher education institutions (FUG, Sports Council Utrecht, Bocs, SIC, Kosmu, Vidius, OSHU, TIO, HU, UU) in cooperation with the municipality of Utrecht have presented an action plan and awareness campaign 'Students together against Covid-19' to mayor Den Oudsten. Student associations bear their responsibility to contain the coronavirus.
Student associations do their utmost to preserve student life while respecting RIVM rules. By offering social contact at the associations in accordance with the safety rules, the associations want to reduce uncontrolled contact within domestic circles, where most infections take place, and make social contributions to the fight against the corona virus. We believe that especially in these times student associations can play a key role in reducing the number of infections and increasing awareness among students. We believe that an open statement of appreciation and recognition on your part will make a positive contribution. This will not only benefit the morale of student organizations, but also encourage other student groups and associations to do the same.
RIVM measures should not be undermined. But it is also crucial to reflect on the morals of the students at Utrecht University. This has decreased due to the constant cancellation of events, ceremonies and (introductory) activities. An open expression of recognition for the current efforts undertaken would, in our view, have a positive effect and would greatly improve the feeling of mutual communication and understanding between Utrecht University and its students.
Good contact between higher education institutions and student organizations is essential, because only together will we get corona under control.