‘We were just getting comfortable’

| Natasja Schaafsma

Many UT students do it, want to do it or have done it in the past. Of course, we're talking about a board year. But what if your board year coincides with a global pandemic? In this series, U-Today asks study associations how they deal with the ‘new normal’. This second episode: Dimensie, the study association for Psychology.

Dimensie chairwoman Christine Mulrane

With seven part-time members, the board of Dimensie was ‘hammered in’ a few weeks ago. The first problem that arose because of the 1.5 meter regulations: only four of them fit in the boardroom. All in all, it’s just one of the many challenges they will have to face this year. They can even add some more challenges to the list after yesterday evening’s press conference. Christine Mulrane, chairwoman of Dimensie, is still excited to share the Dimensie experiences.

How did you experience the beginning of your board year?

‘We were just getting comfortable. We started our board year a few weeks ago, and all seven of us are well aware of the corona situation. We’re going to look at the situation month by month, adjusting and re-adjusting along the way. Last week, we were able to hold a committee market inside the big hall of Spiegel. And by making things such as a ‘fun regulations poster’, we try to keep our members aware of the regulations. The communication between faculty and students works really well, so we are lucky in that regard.’

How do you make sure to include the first year students?

‘We can reach them via WhatsApp groups, which worked quite well in the case of the committee market. We have 350 first year students, 26 of them signed up for a committee! The market went really well, considering all the rules we had to adhere to. Still, it is hard to start the year on a positive note, as the lockdown back in March was announced on the day we held our gala. We had to cancel it minutes before it was supposed to start. We haven’t been very lucky to say the least, a lot of things were cancelled or postponed. We have no clue what will be possible this year, but we want to make it work.’

How are you adapting to the newest situation then?

‘Since the press conference of yesterday was announced, we were stressing out and thinking of every possible scenario. With the new rules, we had to close the association room for now. We are only letting in a few people who have a high need to go into our members room. To pick up books, for instance. We are currently talking to other associations and discussing how they are handling the new regulations. For now, it is not clear how we should respond and what we can mean for our members. We can only wait for a decision from the UT. We expect the final decision will be made tomorrow, so we are hoping to know whether we can open up by then. In case we can’t open the association room, we want to do a big clean-up of the members room. But first, we have to wait for a new update.’

The Dimensie association room.