“Winning this award is an honour, especially because the choice was made by my fellow students”, said Ms Brokbals. “I think what this award makes clear is first and foremost that as a team, the Welfare Committee managed to reach a lot of people with the activities that we offered and that students appreciated them. This is the best result we could have possibly hoped for and I am very proud to have been a part of it”.
As part of her actions as Welfare Committee President, Ms Brokbals was able to provide free sanitary products in several campus bathrooms; collaborate with the Afrique Student Association to offer free fitness classes; organise stress-relief and art workshops; enhance on-campus psychologist services, including disseminating information about the service and redirecting feedback to the Institute; support student parents; and direct students with specific issues or concerns to the right place.
“I believe that it is important to be involved in volunteering activities because they provide a space to bring people together and work on issues that they care about”, said Ms Brokbals. “Even if we may not always have money to support certain causes, I think that devoting our time can be equally, if not more, impactful and be a great tool to raise awareness for certain issues. In addition, it offers the opportunity to learn new things and meet like-minded people”.
The Student Leadership Award was created through a proposal by GISA in 2018 to reward outstanding student engagement through participation in student committees, student initiatives or other activities related to the Graduate Institute’s student life.