Developing student representation together: Report on EUniWell Student Board Teambuilding weekend in Cologne
31/10/2022 | by Lotte Nagelhout, Letizia Di Donato
On 23 and 24 September, student representatives from the EUniWell universities gathered for the EUniWell Student Board Teambuilding Weekend at the University of Cologne. Together with EUniWell Director of Integration Karen Buchanan, they further designed student engagement within the alliance and developed the EUniWell Student Board of the future.
EUniWell Student Board Teambuilding
The EUniWell Student Board consists of two students from each of the EUniWell universities, as well as the Student Executives and Chief Student Officer. In this way, an international and diverse group of students represents the wider student bodies across our campuses. While there are online meetings each month, the Student Board felt the need for a more in-depth meeting with plenty of possibilities to get to know each other and discuss the future of student engagement. Therefore, this physical event created the opportunity for all student representatives from our member universities to come together, creating the first official teambuilding event of the EUniWell Student Board.
On Saturday, 23 September, the Student Board members gathered to attend a teambuilding and coaching workshop led by EUniWell’s Director of Integration Karen Buchanan. During this workshop, students tackled and discussed various challenging questions, such as “How do we want to be and work together?” or “What can we learn from our development since 2020?”. These questions led to reflections on what we aspire to as a Student Board, which is necessary for designing the Student Board of the future.
Additionally, the goal of this coaching session was to get to know our colleagues as much as possible, to allow for a close and productive working environment in which each student can work optimally. As exciting as an international cooperation can be, cultural diversity can be a challenge. Therefore, we have learned that it is essential for any fruitful collaboration to be aware of each other’s talents and limits.
Developing student representation for the future
So, what to do with these reflections and strengthened relationships? In order to put our findings into practice, the workshop on Sunday, 24 September, was dedicated to designing the Student Board of the future, and led by Chief Student Officer Lotte Nagelhout and Student Executive Sloan Kudrinko, with assistance of Karen Buchanan.
A key element of this workshop was identifying our current challenges and possible solutions. Discussing our vision and mission for the future Student Board allowed for aligning our individual and local priorities. Through this, we were able to prepare what could be discussed further with the Rectors and Vice-Rectors during the Rectors’ Assembly in Budapest on 13 October 2022. As a result of this workshop, we are now planning to actively generate even more student participation within all aspects of EUniWell, as this creates the opportunity of sharing workload and creating more student-led events and possibilities. Additionally, we are seeking ways of increased and intimate collaboration with the EUniWell staff at each partner university, in order to realise even more co-creational efforts within the Alliance. Our main takeaway from this event is a positive one, as all of our Student Board members are enthusiastically set to create long-lasting student engagement and representation across Europe.
If you are a student and designing student engagement on a European scale interests you, please do not hesitate to reach out to Chief Student Officer Lotte Nagelhout. Email: cso[at]euniwell.eu
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