Science - January 15, 2004

More social activities planned for this year

The organisation of international students in Wageningen, ISO, started the new year with a new committee. The eight members come from countries around the world, and one is from the Netherlands. The board plans to expand ISO’s activities and offer students fun.

The newly elected president is José Lozano, who is studying Organic Agriculture here. “I joined ISO because international communities have always amazed me. I want to get to know all different cultures. Before I came to Holland I lived in the States for a year. As president I think I can bring them together.” ISO is not the first organisation he’s active in. “In my home country Colombia I’ve been active in organisations for the promotion of research and also in organising social events.” He also admits that he’s always liked being president. “I especially like the fact that everybody knows you and that people say ‘hey, there goes José’ when they see you,” laughs the first year MSc student.

Responsible for the ISO-newsletter and e-mail contacts in the new committee is Pablo Gonzáles Perez. Also studying Organic Agriculture and like his fellow-student Lozano, Gonzáles arrived last summer and regards his efforts as board member as a two-way process. “I wanted to get involved in social activities and see how an association works. I also have something to offer the international community,” says the student from Spain. “In Spain there are no student clubs like you have here.”

Gonzáles personal favourite ISO activity is the theatre group, something he has always wanted to join. Lozano’s favourite is salsa. “I have even given some classes.” The new president says he spends three hours a days going through his e-mails and preparing and holding meetings. “He’s the meeting man,” his colleague jokes.

Lozano and Gonzáles describe ISO as the most important organisation in Wageningen for international students. Gonzáles: “Other organisations are also starting to take us into account more. We get a lot of e-mails asking for our view or cooperation.”

The committee aims to expand ISO’s activities this year. “In about a month we hope to start with a Mexican dance class and show movies on Friday nights,” announces the president. The first big activity coming up is a Valentines Day party organised together with Unitas. ISO itself still has no permanent accommodation since moving from its building in Duivendaal. It is temporarily housed behind the Aula, but Lozano would like to move to a building where they can organise their own parties. “For our other activities though this building is OK,” he says.

By the end of the year Gonzáles wants to have improved the frequency of activities. “I want to attract more people to activities and get people more involved.” Lozano hopes that at his farewell party everybody will thank him for making them feel at home. “At ISO we help people have fun and home is always fun.”

Yvonne de Hilster

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