Elections for the Student Council of the university will be held from 20 May until 23 May. Resource introduces you to the lead candidates of the student parties. Today: Yichun Zhou (23), lead candidate for S&I. 'With S&I, I want to improve sustainability. Inner- and inter-human sustainability as well as environmental sustainability of the university itself.’
Yichun Zhou © S&I.
Inner- and inter-human sustainability
‘When I first heard of S&I (Sustainability & Internationalisation), I was impressed that international students who are here for a short time can make a change and take an active role in improving the university and the quality of student life. I’m running for the Student Council because I want to take on that active role. With S&I, I want to improve sustainability. Inner- and inter-human sustainability as well as environmental sustainability of the university itself.’
‘By inner-human sustainability, I refer to the mental wellness of individuals. There is a lot of stress among students. Inter-human sustainability stands for cultural integration; a sustainable student population that helps international students to adapt and settle better and faster in Wageningen.’
‘While it’s my first year in Wageningen, it’s my third year in the Netherlands already. In the first two years, I was mainly hanging out with other Chinese students. Now, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. Thanks to this, I can understand multiple perspectives. I can understand how Dutch students think thanks to my Dutch housemates and friends as well as how international students think. I think this is one of my strengths.’
‘I think good integration can contribute to more people being involved in making WUR more sustainable. For example, in China, separating your garbage is not at the level that it’s at here on campus. Sometimes students don’t clearly know what to put in which bin, because they don’t have as much practice with it as Dutch students. People assume that WUR students are all used to doing things in a sustainable way, but I think that by giving new students a briefing on simple things like garbage separation, it is easier to get them involved in making this university as a whole more sustainable.’
‘There is a housing shortage and there are not enough places to study. Students wonder why the university keeps accepting so many new students while there is a shortage of space for them already. Dutch students may wonder why international students get priority on accommodation, while some of them can’t find a room and have to travel for hours to get to campus. If I’m elected, my main concerns will be the quality of student life and of the university.’