‘Students’ mental health deteriorating rapidly’
Study societies to uni: relax restrictions now
The clubs signed a petition consisting of eight proposals and submitted it to the board of directors. They say the proposal would immediately improve circumstances for all students.
‘Since the start of the corona crisis the study associations have done everything they can to support the students’, says Rolf Hidding, who chairs the Faculty Association Assembly (FAA), which includes the study associations. ‘But things are beyond us right now, too. Something has to change.’ The associations emphatically state that young people’s mental health is in danger.
Several studies have shown that they suffer greatly under the current corona restrictions. One in three young people are dissatisfied with their current situation, and more than half say they are experiencing depression and other mental health symptoms. The study associations have seen the same happening to their members, who are increasingly difficult to reach.
The associations say that merely acknowledging the cries for help is insufficient. It’s time for concrete solutions, like the ones they propose in their petition. They argue the university buildings should reopen more and want better support for students.
They emphasise that creative solutions are possible and call on the UG to actually utilise them. One solution would be to erect tents on university grounds, which the UG did earlier this academic year, too. It would allow students to get together in the open air and enable associations to organise events.
Expanding the speed-testing experiment at Zernike would also be a concrete solution. The associations say the testing lane could be used to give people access to university buildings, which in turn would make more study space available. Not just for vulnerable students, but for all students.
‘This petition should be considered a call to take actual steps in helping students’, says Hidding. ‘If they don’t do something now, the consequences will be disastrous.’