Student Olivier Fajgenblat is new assessor for Humanities
On 1 September 2017, Aurelie van ’t Slot passed the assessor’s baton to Olivier Fajgenblat. As the new Humanities assessor, this third-year student of Film and Literary Studies will promote students’ interests in the Faculty Board. Let’s introduce this ambitious Belgian student.
What is an assessor?
Each Faculty Board within Leiden University has a student member, also known as the assessor, who promotes students’ interests in all kinds of areas. The assessor keeps a finger on the pulse of the study associations and student organisations at the University level, and acts as a bridge between these groups and the Faculty Board. Assessor’s contact details
From writer to academic
Olivier Fajgenblat is looking forward to the start of his time in office. “I really want to put a lot of energy into it,” he says determined. He is in his third year of Film and Literary Studies, and although he originally chose this subject with the aim of becoming a writer, while studying at Leiden he has discovered his passion for literary philosophy. But first, starting from September, Olivier will be assessor and the main point of contact for all Humanities students
Just over the border
Olivier comes from the village of Genval, just south of the border between Flanders and Wallonia. In his own words, he “tumbled into the Netherlands totally out of the blue”. The unique combination of literary studies and film studies at Leiden University made him set his sights on the Netherlands. “But when I got here, I didn’t know anyone. I clearly remember my parents dropping me off at the dormitory for the El Cid [introductory week] and saying, ‘If you don’t like it, we’ll come back and get you’,” he laughs.
Fortunately his parents never needed to collect him, and now Olivier feels completely at home in Leiden. In fact, he’s busier than ever. In addition to his studies, he was on the committee of the SSR student association, he was the chair of the Maktub study association and, together with a group of other students, he organised the Faculty Symposium.
“All these experiences prepared me for becoming the assessor. I’ve learned so much during my years in Leiden, and the high point has been setting up the Faculty Symposium. It started as a little idea that I threw into the group, about doing something fun with the study associations, and grew into something incredibly rewarding. What the symposium ultimately became, with Kader Abdolah speaking to a packed Small Auditorium, surpassed our wildest dreams.”
Students have a voice
What is he most looking forward to in the coming year? “I’m looking forward to getting a good look behind the scenes at the University and the Faculty. I’m also really looking forward to meeting a lot of people, such as the new committee members of study associations and the Faculty Council.”
Students can naturally come to him with complaints or questions, but in the coming year Olivier also wants to raise awareness about the options for student participation. “I think most students don’t know they can make their voice heard within the Faculty and their opinions have an influence on decision-making. I want to bring that much more into the spotlight.”
Contact the assessor