It is quiet on campus during summer. Many students are away on vacation. But not everyone is. Erik-Jan van Oosten (29) might have finished his master’s degree in Urban Environmental Management, but he is far from done with WUR – so much so, that he would not even leave during summer.
© Lotje Hogerzeil
The Regreening Week is coming up and it will not organise itself. As coordinator of the RUW Foundation, Erik-Jan is working hard to prepare a programme to provide the new students with a green start. ‘Many first-year’s students feel the need to immediately contribute to a sustainable student life. During the Regreening Week, we show them all the awesome sustainable spots in Wageningen and introduce them to the green organisations at WUR.’
At the start of the previous academic year, a pilot weekend was held to see if the idea would catch on. It was very successful, but it was a last-minute project. ‘That’s when we thought of the idea to organise a meetup with all the green initiatives in Wageningen three weeks before the academic years starts – from the THUIS pub to Fossil Free Wageningen. This time, we started rounding up the organisations as early as May. We did some brainstorming, looked for common goals and devised some workshops.’ The team is currently mainly focused on the practical organisation of the week: drafting a schedule, arranging tents for the camp, and more. ‘We will go camping at ecovillage Ppauw. We want to achieve a feeling of community similar to those during the introduction periods of the student associations.
Besides the organisation of the Regreening Week, Erik-Jan is always occupied listening to students with green ideas and bringing them in contact with each other. That goes on during summer as well, whether there are less students on campus or not. Tomorrow, he will hold the weekly meeting of RUW, which everyone is welcome to join and during which people can offer some input on the greening of WUR as well as the Regreening. Erik-Jan cannot and will not sit still during this summer period. The only drawback of working during summer? ‘Our office on the hill is broiling around this time of year. Luckily, I can perform about 90 percent of my organisational tasks remotely.’