Rory Granleese and Jan Kolen: 'We are proud to witness our students being the best of people.'
A word from Student Assessor Rory Granleese and Dean Jan Kolen
To the students of the Faculty of Archaeology,
The following message is not a news piece, or update or policy communication. It is a message of support and solidarity.
We are, all of us, in the process of adapting our lives to meet the challenges presented by this global health crisis. The government in the Netherlands has taken precautionary measures to help slow the spread and give the health care system the best possible chance at dealing with the virus. We are all experiencing events that are unprecedented in our lifetimes. The best thing we can do right now is take a deep breath and figure out how to move forward, as a team.
You are all students of the Faculty of Archaeology, but more importantly you are individual people with individual needs that the term ‘student’ simply does not cover. Take care of yourself, and those around you. Check in on yourself, and those around you. Do you feel okay? If not, seek help, seek advice and seek comfort. Call your friends, your family, or representatives at the Faculty. Lean on them. Support them. You are not alone. If all else fails, and you feel that you have nowhere else to turn to, we can help you with that.
Leiden University and our Faculty have decided to cancel any and all teaching activities between the 16th and the 20th of March 2020. This was intended to give the academic and support staff the time and space to create a plan. A plan to help us all get back on our feet, a plan to stabilise the situation, a plan to deal with all the obstacles we are now facing. We first needed a solid base, a platform, on which we can now build. We are currently working on all of the finer aspects of your curriculum: deadlines, courses, re-takes, BSA etc. When this has been thoroughly ironed out, we will let you know.
Hopefully this last week without classes and deadlines has given you some time to adjust to the current situation. You will not be at the Faculty for the foreseeable future, so find a safe place where you feel comfortable (and somewhere that respect the government’s guidelines) to study and work.
You will experience education as you have not yet experienced it. We will provide education in a way that we have not yet truly provided it. You may be reading more and listening less. You may be discussing topics with classmates online, instead of in person. Your lecturers and classmates will be at a distance, but the topics and education will be as close to archaeology as ever, and hopefully even more fascinating. You are used to studying the past; observing and puzzling how societies changed and adapted to meet obstacles or threats. We are now living in this reality. Archaeology is not just about the past.
These are challenging times; however, the students of Leiden University have shown resilience, companionship, strength and selflessness. We are using online platforms to chat with our friends and family, to share a coffee and catch-up. We are helping the less able and the vulnerable around us. The hardest of times often brings out the very best of people. At the Faculty of Archaeology, we are proud to witness our students being the best of people and ask you to continue to do so.
The foreseeable future will present us all with new events and new challenges. We will face them as students, as academics, as staff, but we will face them together and we will overcome them together. Social distancing is uncomfortable, and for many of us unnatural, but it is necessary to protect what we hold dear.
We are thoroughly committed to providing you all with the best academic experience that we can possibly offer. We want you to feel safe in the community that we all share and love.
Stay strong. Be safe. It will take some time, but we will see this through.
On behalf of all the staff at the faculty,
Rory Granleese (Assessor: Student Affairs) and Jan Kolen (Dean)
Also on behalf of the other members of the Faculty Board
Bleda Düring, Chair of Research
Jacqueline Schut-Adema, Chair of Finance and Operations
Janneke Mulders, Secretary