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Getting to know Assessor Nadine Louissen: 'I'm trying to be as visible as possible'

Nadine Louissen has been appointed as the new assessor at the Faculty Governance and Global Affairs. As an assessor she is a member of the Faculty Board representing the interests of all students. High time to get to know the 21-year-old student who hopes that, in time, everybody will know where to find her. 'I'd rather have a mailbox that's overflowing, than no mail at all.'

Initially, she planned to study Criminology in Leiden, but failed to get placed. And so, Nadine Louissen suddenly had to decide on another programme. She picked Security Studies in The Hague. 'I enrolled in this programme without visiting an Open Day or any other information. There was one thing I knew for sure: After obtaining my diploma, I wanted to leave my hometown of Emmen. Everybody went off to study in Groningen, but I wanted to move to the other side of the country. Get to know new people and that is why I moved to The Hague. I haven't regretted it for even a single day. I really enjoy my studies and the city too.'

Swimming in a new city

Her life as a student got off to a hesitant start, 4 years ago. Just turned 18, a strange city, far away from her safe haven. It felt a bit like swimming to Nadine. 'The first weeks, I'd go back to Drenthe each weekend. If I didn't have any classes on Friday, I'd be on the train back home on Thursday. But that changed pretty quickly.' She found a part-time job at the Bijenkorf, made new friends, and moved to a home she shares with a total of 10 students. 'It's really nice and I noticed that my life started to take place here. I didn't need to go home each weekend. Because of corona, I hardly go at all now. I try to limit travelling, it doesn't feel safe right now; sitting in a train for such a long time.'

Chairperson Study Association

Nadine noticed that she was feeling more and more at home in The Hague and felt a need to do something extra as part of her studies. Together with a few fellow students, she founded student association Custodia. For 2 years, she was the chairperson of the association's board. 'It was great fun and an educational experience. It feels really good to be able to make a difference for your fellow students. It's also the reason I haven't obtained my diploma yet, it obviously takes up a lot of time. I still have to finish a couple of third-year courses. It remains to be seen if I'm actually able to finish them, with this new job and all', she says laughing.

Logical Step

Being chairperson for a student association made Nadine eager for more. When asked by her predecessor if she would be interested in becoming the new assessor, she thought about it long and hard.  'It really felt like it was a logical step. After 2 years study association, I was ready for something new. What better than being able to make a difference for the students in your own programme than being able to do so for the entire faculty? I'm very proud to be in the position to do so.' The rest is history, because she has now been appointed as the assessor for this academic year. She combines this job with her studies, as well as being a sports fanatic and enjoying the company of her house-mates. 'So, when it comes down to it, I only really have time for my studies during the weekend.'

Responsible Task

Being an assessor means having an appointment for 24 hours a week, doing a job that a lot of people are not very familiar with. 'By now, I've become an expert in explaining what it's all about, everybody keeps asking, haha. As an assessor, I'm part of the Faculty Board. I'm in charge of the portfolio student affairs. That's a very broad and responsible task. As board member, I look after all issues that are in the interest of students. I take part in the meetings, but I'm also free to come up with my own projects.'

Online Visibility

In order to know what is going on among students, Nadine needs to make sure that she is visible and that students know how to contact her. A difficult task in a time when classes are mainly held online and other activities have also been scaled down. 'It's definitely a difficult period we're in now. I'm not visible in person for most people, but am visible online. Students can email me about absolutely everything. I'd rather receive too much mail, instead of no mail. Obviously, this interview will also help to promote my visibility. I try to be as approachable as possible during this time online.'

Faculty Board with Erwin Muller (top left ), Nadine Louissen, Niels Laurens (front left) and Koen Caminada

Think Tank

The first thing Nadine intends to get stuck into, is creating a faculty-wide think tank, a sounding board. 'It's important that the opinions and ideas of the students reach the board. We're not seeing each other as often at the moment, but it's important that the students’ opinions are heard.' She also plans to start cracking on the professionalization of the Programme Committees (OLCs). 'Right now, every programme has its own committee, each performing their tasks in their own way. There's no cohesion at all. It would obviously be better for the faculty if these committees would operate in a somewhat similar fashion. That's what I'm hoping to achieve.'

Nadine Louissen can be reached via assessor@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

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