CIROS Newsletter – January 2021

Happy New Year everyone! The CIROS board and I wish you all success and joy in 2021!

As we return from our Winter break and (very) slowly ease into the new semester, we have some news and updates for you.

? New Year, same CIROS?

We are always striving to offer you the best possible activities and events, and this semester will be no different. Keeping the organization running last semester whilst respecting COVID-19 measures was a challenge and did not always go as smoothly as we hoped, but we learnt a lot and I think that, overall, we met the challenge head-on and came out on top.

We will now take the lessons we learnt from last semester, as well as your feedback, and apply them to our events and activities this semester, in line with our goal of always improving what we can offer you.

? We would also like to again thank everyone involved with CIROS, either directly or indirectly, for your participation and collaboration. Without you, none of this would be possible!

? Semester One Feedback

As I mentioned above, we have already received some very insightful feedback from many of you on the first semester.

The feedback form is still open, so if you have any comments, thoughts or ideas you would like to share with us, you can do so through this anonymous survey.

? Upcoming Events and Initiatives

? Student Wellbeing Weeks

(18th of January until the 14th of February)

As students, we have to deal with a lot of challenges, especially in this unusual and unpredictable time. CIROS, your study advisors and Leiden University want you to know that you’re not alone and provide you with advice on how to stay mentally and physically healthy.

For more information, please see the Wellbeing Weeks page, as well as the general Student Wellbeing page

?️ Diversity & Inclusion Symposium

(22nd of January from 14:00-16:00)

Diversity and inclusion are important regardless of our work area or field. Hosted by the Faculty of Science, this year’s symposium will focus on central questions facing us as teachers, students, staff and administrators in translating our ambitions in the area of diversity and inclusion into practice.

You can sign up for the symposium free of charge by registering here.

? European Policy Prize 2021

The European Student Think Tank organizes a yearly European Policy Prize, and this year’s focus is on The Future of Europe in the Age of Crisis (a quite fitting theme for the current situation). They are inviting current students and recent graduates to produce a policy memo of 1,500- 2,000 words in English as an answer to several questions on this year’s theme.

The winners of the competition will each receive the following prizes:

  • A virtual policy presentation to one of our judges to discuss the European Policymaking Process and the Policy implications of your proposal.
  • The opportunity to be published in one of two peer-reviewed journals: European Horizons’ Review of European and Transatlantic Affairs or the European Student Thinktank’s European Policy Review.
  • A free copy of Euroscepticism and the Future of Europe- Views from the Capitals, kindly provided by TEPSA
  • A waiver to the European Horizons European Student Conference.

The deadline for submissions to the competition is January 24th at 11:59 pm CET.

For more information, please check out their website.

? Semester Two COVID-19 Forecast

A question on many of your minds is probably what this next semester will look like regarding in-person classes and activities, and whether there will be any changes from the first semester. We hope that this quick overview can help answer some of those questions.

When will the hard lockdown in the Netherlands end?

  • The current lockdown is set to be in place until the 19th of January. The Dutch government will review the COVID-19 situation around mid-January and make further decisions. It is possible that the lockdown may be extended if the number of cases is deemed to still be unsustainably high.

Will there be in-person classes?

  • The current plan for in-person teaching at Leiden University looks like this:
    • First-Year Students are not scheduled to have any in-person classes. However, if conditions permit, on-campus teaching of the Introduction to Comparative Politics course in a hybrid format might be possible. More information should follow soon from the institute.
    • Second-Year Students will have a choice of online or in-person workgroups for the Academic Skills: Data Analysis course. All other classes will be fully online.
    • Third-Year Students will have all seminars and bachelor-projects fully online.
  • Regarding the situation with the current lockdown, it is scheduled to end before the beginning of the next semester and the university is confident that these plans can go ahead.

Will there be more in-person events?

  • Currently, the very strict government measures do not allow for in-person events. However, we are working on a number of COVID-friendly activities to do in-person and hope to do these as soon as the government allows.

Can I still use the study space in Uni?

What are the current rules concerning COVID-19 in the Netherlands?

  • It is now mandatory to present a negative PCR test before travelling to the Netherlands.
  • Work from home as much as possible.
  • The wearing of masks is now mandatory inside public places, as well as public transport.
    • If you do not wear a mask, you risk a fine of 95€!
    • See here for more information on where you must wear a mask.
  • You may receive a maximum of two guests at home per day.
  • Groups in public may not exceed two people unless they are from the same household.
  • In line with the hard lockdown, most indoor places are closed.
  • Please click here for a complete overview of all current COVID-19 rules.

❗ It is important to note that this remains a constantly developing situation and that these measures can change at any time. Please stay up to date on regulations set by the Dutch government, as well as by Leiden University.

❓ As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact me at Our online office hours will resume again soon as well, so stay tuned for that.

And that’s all we have for this month. I hope everyone is enjoying their break and this new year so far, and if you (like me) have some resits do to, I wish you all the best of luck with those!

On behalf of CIROS,

Ben B-Millington

CIROS Secretary

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