We in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES) know that higher education is rapidly changing before our eyes — with the COVID pandemic, the shift to online/hybrid course options, social movements and media landscapes, geopolitical and infrastructural challenges, Truth and Reconciliation and climate emergency mandates, and a complicated job market for everyone, before and after graduation. University of British Columbia (UBC) students’ needs are important to us for all these reasons, and we want to hear directly from you what those needs are in 2022.
A department like CENES concentrates on the cultures, languages, and literatures of a vibrant and historically complex region, encompassing 34 nation-states, and ranging from Indigenous Northern Europe to the Black Sea in the European Southeast. Our faculty members and administrative staff are multilingual, multicultural border-crossers, like most of our students.
With all this in mind, we are seeking UBC undergraduate students who have completed at least one CENES course (either in CENS, DANI, GERM, POLS, RUSS, SCAN, SLAV or SWED) to sit on the inaugural CENES Advisory Council for a one-year term (two, 2-hour meetings per semester). The council will be asked to deliberate on questions such as the following:
- When and how ought the department best schedule its courses?
- How can we communicate most effectively with students about our Minors/Majors in German, Russian, Scandinavian, and Modern European Studies?
- What events ought the department organize in order to grow our undergraduate community?
- What are our potential areas of improvement as a department, from students’ perspectives?
- How can we make our space on the 9th floor of Buchanan Tower even more welcoming? What other spaces on campus might we effectively use for CENES events?
- What do our responsibilities to UBC’s diverse communities, and to European settler legacies on Indigenous land, mean for all of these questions above?
- What matters involving Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe are most important for UBC students currently?
Because of the complex nature of these questions, work on the council will engage students to articulate their views on some of the key challenges and questions of higher education for the present and the future. We intend to engage students’ wisdom and insights, and to recognize and credit students as equals in this planning process.
Beyond a mere line on students’ résumés, the experience will allow students to sharpen and practice their engagement with institutional matters, organizational psychology, practical strategies in communication and marketing, and critical issues in higher education planning.
If you or someone you know may be interested, please complete this brief online application (for yourself) and/or this quick nomination form for someone else. There are multiple positions — spread the word! Applications are due by September 10, 2022 at 4 pm.