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Keep in Touch

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard for students to stay in contact with one another and to fully feel they are part of the academic community. That is why the UvA announced the Keep in Touch campaign at the Dies Natalis in January. Every study association was could apply to receive a grant for activities that would contribute to the well-being of students. Now the allocation of funds through Keep in Touch has been announced and study associations can expect the funding for their activity this month. Keep in Touch is an initiative that aims to fight social isolation among students. At the start of the year, the study associations submitted ideas to bring students – both members and non-members – closer together.

Study associations have a connecting role

Study associations do more than provide added depth to a particular study programme. For many students, they also play a crucial role in their social life at university. A great many of these young people get to know their fellow students better through the activities organised by their study association, especially during their first year. 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 is offering study associations a helping hand in doing what they are already doing – and showing so much creativity in the process – under these difficult circumstances.

Study associations about the activities they will be organising

Elin Swaan of VSPA
Elin Swaan, VSPA: Psychology

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 FV-FMG
Jobeleen Perez, FV-FMG: Faculteitsvereniging FMG

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.’

Board of study association Cognito
Board of Cognito: Brain & Cognitive Sciences

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 of study association Off-Screen
Jang Kapgen, Off-Screen: Media Studies

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 of JHV Phaedrus
Dawit Bakker, JHV Phaedrus: Rechtsgeleerdheid Honours

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!’

 

  • Read the basic requirements/selection criteria again
    • Applications will only be processed if they are submitted via the online form no later than 31 January.
    • Study associations can apply for up to €500 (the exact amount depends on the total number of submissions selected to receive funding).
    • It is possible that only part of the requested funding will be awarded, rather than the full amount.
    • Multiple submissions are allowed. The maximum total amount for all the events submitted by one study association is €500.
    • Proposals may be for new initiatives as well as (additions to) existing activities.
    • The activity must provide a highquality experience and contribute to student well-being. Examples include an (online) fitness class with a trainer or an (online) seminar with a paid speaker.
    • The activity must fall under the theme of student wellbeing.
    • Activities must be freely accessible to students. This means that a student’s degree programme is the only determining factor for access to the event. The language of the programme, physical barriers and membership in the study association should play the smallest possible role in the accessibility of the event.
    • The activity must adhere to the COVIDrelated measures as specified on the Dutch government’s website.
    • Study associations will be informed of the evaluation committee’s decision by 15 February. This decision is final and not subject to discussion.
    • If you organise an activity during UvA Health Week (12 to 16 April 2021), there is a strong possibility that we will be able to offer extra promotion for your activity or that we can provide extra support in a different way.
    • The activity must take place before the end of academic year 2020-2021.
       

    Just a few more things...

    • Keep an eye on updates to the COVID-19 measures.
    • Submissions for in-person, ‘live’ events will also be evaluated by your faculty’s Head of Operational Management.
    • The applicant must record the activity in a video that is two minutes or shorter. Email the video to keepintouch@uva.nl within two weeks after the event. By submitting your footage, you agree that images may be used on UvA communication channels.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Can I submit an application as an individual student?

    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.

    Can alcohol be consumed during an event that is funded by Keep in Touch?

    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).

    What should we do if an event can no longer be held because the government suddenly announces stricter coronavirus measures?

    First of all, we would like to emphasise that an online event is a safer choice since activities in this format can often still take place under stricter measures. Nevertheless, if you would like to organise an in-person event, make sure that you have a back-up plan.

    My question isn’t listed. Whom should I contact?

    You can email your question to keepintouch@uva.nl.