Amsterdam United


The UvA walls contain an almost “all white gender male quotes”. What do students want? What does diversity on UvA walls mean? Last tuesday Amsterdam United, UvA Sociaal and a big amount of social science UvA staff launched their UvA quote-unquote day!Students bring in your ideas and quotes to make the UvA and the UvA walls more inclusive!

Send us an email if you have quotes you would like to see or for other ideas: or reply in the comments section!

Quote 1 Quote 2 Quote 3

Bedankt President Trump!

Written by: Yasmina El Ouardani

Je kunt je afvragen hoe in vredesnaam kan dat u, anno 2017, president bent geworden.
Ik moet er helaas toch elke weer om lachen, of huilen. Ja, dat laatste vraag ik mij ook af.
Zeker als ik in de ochtend het nieuws lees en er achter kom welk decreet u nou weer heeft getekend of wilt tekenen.
Verdrietig word ik er van, én moedeloos.
Zo werd ik wakker met het bericht dat u mensen afkomstig uit zeven moslimlanden de toegang tot de VS ontzegt.
Uiteraard zijn dit niet de landen waar u financiële belangen hebt. Dat kunt u dan weer niet riskeren.
Kennelijk gaat het financiële belang voor op menselijk belang.
Het laatste bent u in elk geval even uit het oog verloren. Ik zeg even omdat ik hoop dat dit een fase is die overgaat.

Dat u en feiten moeilijk samengaan dat had ik al door.
Toch wil ik u er op wijzen dat niet jihadisme maar wapenwetgeving de grootste oorzaak is van het aantal doden in uw land.
Dat probleem zou u eens moeten aanpakken.
En dan heb ik het niet eens gehad over uw andere plannen met betrekking tot abortuswetgeving.

Ondanks alles vind ik toch dat er reden is voor optimisme. Uw optreden tot nu toe heeft een enorm effect gehad, niet alleen in de VS maar ook hier in Nederland. Ik ben daar blij mee en ik zal u eens vertellen waarom.
Moslims, allochtonen, vluchtelingen en andere minderheidsgroepen zijn dagelijks onderwerp van gesprek.
Helaas vaker negatief dan positief.
Toch weet u iets voor elkaar te krijgen. Iets wat we hier in Nederland goed kunnen gebruiken.
U weet namelijk de hele wereld bijeen te krijgen, zo ook de Nederlandse samenleving.
Het saamhorigheidsgevoel ontwikkelt zich sterker dan ooit te voren.
En dat, president Trump, is het allermooiste dat ik ooit heb gezien!


Spotlight of the week: with Jessy

Name: Jessy
Age: 20
Study: Bsc. Human Geography

1. How would you describe diversity in general?
For me, diversity means accepting and respecting our differences. Every person is unique and we can’t neglect this. We must be able to engage in a safe and understanding conversation, get different perspectives and broaden our view.

2. Where do you see diversity at the UvA, where do you think diversity should be improved?
I think the UvA is diverse in the way that there are people from all over the world. If you walk around you will see a lot of exchange students from China and United States. Although there are a lot of international students, the majority of the students at the UvA are white. I also believe that most of the professors have a Dutch or European background. The literature I read for Human Geography is also mostly written by ‘Western’ authors.

In order to create less Eurocentric perspectives, I think more professors from non-European countries should be invited to give lectures at the UvA. Also, in my opinion there should be more students with different backgrounds, I understand that this is easier said than done. But being conscious about this issues is a good first step. Organizations like Amsterdam United create awareness around this subject.

Spotlight of the week: with Daniel

Name: Daniel
Age: 23
Study: Bachelor Law

1. How would you describe diversity in general?
Diversity, for me, means equal opportunity for everybody. It means that every person, no matter their background, can do what they want to do. It also stands for a positive factor in society. To learn from others about their culture, their way of life, their process of mind, is a great advantage for everybody in society. It creates more understanding, more empathy for one another.

2. Where do you see diversity at the UvA, where do you think diversity should be improved?
The UvA has always been considered a predominantly ‘white’ school, compared to the VU. Therefore it is great to have initiatives like Amsterdam United, to promote diversity. There needs to be a change of culture at the UvA and that is exactly what Amsterdam United is trying to promote. The UvA has a very diverse curriculum, but that is sadly about to change in the near future. My fear is that a lot will be lost if the UvA goes in the direction it is heading now. As the UvA is more concerned with profit than it has been in earlier times, a lot of curriculum that is deemed not profitable enough will be canceled. I think having a lot of different, smaller courses would greatly promote diverse thinking. I think a university’s main motivator should be education, and not profit.

Spotlight of the week: with Anna

Name: Anna Luiken
Age: 25
Study: English literature

1. How would you describe diversity in general?
Diversity is about a wide variety of people. Of course this includes people with different ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, gender, and sexual preference. But also difference in ‘class’ (although I don’t like that word) as well as physical and mental abilities.

2. Where do you see diversity at the UvA, where do you think diversity should be improved?
The UvA is now lucky to have a student initiative like Amsterdam United to point out where diversity still lacks. I would like to see more diversity in the classroom for instance regarding the curriculum. This way I can get exposed to different perspectives and different topics, as opposed to almost exclusively being educated on established western authors and philosophers. I also think it would be great if the UvA could attract more international students. I belief this could be a great impulse for classroom discussions since they will bring different perspectives from which everyone can learn and benefit.

February 2017
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