Assessor talk: Anne Wellink succeeds Ebrar Kaya as assessor
Being a student member of the faculty board? Ebrar Kaya fulfilled this role last year as assessor of the Faculty of Humanities. In September, Anne Wellink took over from him. In this interview, we look back and ahead at the assessorship with them.
What does the assessor do?
The faculty board leads the faculty and manages the education, research and organisation portfolios. The assessor sits on the faculty board as a student member and forms the link with the students. They can contact the assessor with complaints, and for suggestions and ideas. Furthermore, besides Student Affairs, the assessor also has Labour Market Orientation, Diversity & Inclusion and Participation as portfolios.
'Learned an awful lot'
Last year, Ebrar fulfilled the role of assessor. How did he fare? 'I learned an awful lot of things about myself but also about the faculty and the people who work and study here,' he says. 'It is a unique position. Nowhere else in the faculty do you have a role where you can have such a direct say and think about the decisions being made. Often you are also the only student who speaks to staff, so then you are also immediately "the voice" of all students.'
'There were several student protests last year and I was able to speak to many protesters in person then. I liked that because I was able to tell them what channels are available to them. It is not the primary function of an assessor to be a relay, but often you are the one who explains things like this to students.'
Wanting to do more
Looking back on his assessorship, Ebrar had actually wanted to do even more. 'But you can't take on everything, so you have to prioritise. That's quite tough,' he says. 'That's why I loved the appreciation from students. They were so grateful, I liked hearing that.'
Not letting go anymore
'It's weird to be on the other side of the table now,' Ebrar concludes. But even though the busy year has only just ended, he already knows he doesn't want to be a couch potato. 'I find it hard to sit still. That would also be a waste. I have had a great opportunity and I don't want to waste the knowledge gained on just my CV. That is also a quality of previous assessors, though. Once you have done this, you can't really let go of it completely either.' Meanwhile, Ebrar is already busy setting up a Faculty Association and a Leiden Student Union.
No uncharted territory
The new assessor and Arts and Culture student, Anne, is looking forward to what the future will bring. 'I don't know what will come my way, but I'm looking forward to it.' However, a board position is not unfamiliar territory for her. 'I have previous board experience and didn't really want to stop governing. When I saw this position was vacant, I applied for it immediately.'
Meanwhile, the first weeks of Anne's assessorship are already over. How did she experience the past period? 'On my first working day I entered my office and there was a letter with signature on my desk from Ebrar. I found the letter very inspiring. Ebrar talked about a ladder on which students can climb up and it is up to us to further embed it in the system,' she says. And then she laughingly adds: 'The letter hangs on the wall in my living room. I thought it was a bit too intense to hang it in my office.'
Ebrar responds with surprise. 'I didn't know the letter would be so inspiring. If I knew, I would have given it a frame,' he says. 'I knew she would get a lot of emails in her first weeks, so that's why I had left it as a letter on the desk in my last seconds as assessor. I felt it was important that the letter reached her properly, because it is an important message that needs attention. You are intensely busy as an assessor, but it is also important to remember that you are always still your own person.'
Challenges and opportunities
Anne wants to focus mainly on student welfare. 'I am discussing this with Student Wellbeing Officer Ellis van Spanje, for example, but a number of things have already happened. For example, we recently opened the Acts of Kindness pillar in Lipsius. That's a place to initiate contact between students,' she says.
Anne also sees challenges and opportunities in the new Humanities Campus. 'Next year, a new building will open and Lipsius will become increasingly empty. Then we have to make sure that the campus also remains a cosy place.'
Do you have a question for Anne or do you simply want to have a chat with her? Then send an email to email@example.com. Of course, you can also always speak to her if you bump into her in the corridors.