Physical distancing – but social solidarity!

Awkward elbow-high-fives, the pungent smell of hand disinfection and last minute panic to find the right zoom link 30 seconds before the lecture starts – Many of you have been looking forward to either starting or returning to their studies at Malmö University but most likely no one anticipated it would be looking like this!

It has been an unusual start of the semester – also for us at the Student Union. During these few weeks we are usually accustomed to welcoming hundreds of new students to the university and our beautiful city, with many of our traditional physical welcoming events falling short due to Corona. However, the few of you who do stop by Kölsvinet to have a chat and grab a coffee with us show us that we need to stand together in these difficult times more than ever!

We might be scattered in different physical locations, both throughout Sweden and all around the globe at the moment but we are still all fellow students facing similar struggles.

We are currently navigating very chaotic times amidst this worldwide pandemic, which certainly does not ease the start of one’s studies. New students do not only have to get used to the way of things in higher education, which comes with a high level of self-discipline and time management, but have to do so digitally, oftentimes missing the swift and easy support a classroom setting with physical attendance offers. The digital working and learning environment seldomly are as beneficial as on-campus learning, including the possibility to brainstorm with classmates, corridor conversations with fellow scholars and staff, not to speak of the lack of opportunities to socialize within an academic environment. 

Especially international students commencing their courses at MAU online, while still being in their home countries hundreds of kilometers and possibly several time zones away, can find it very hard to adjust to their new education and to connect to the student life in Malmö.

Hence, we have to keep in mind, both in interaction with one another, as well as in approaching higher education politics in discussions with the university, that these special circumstances regarding the digital transition due to Corona are not synonymous with distance studies! We might be scattered in different physical locations, both throughout Sweden and all around the globe at the moment but we are still all fellow students facing similar struggles. As ONE student body we still need to stand tall together in solidarity, no matter what modality we are currently attending classes in, and support one another in the spirit of physical distancing, but social solidarity! Never forget the Union is always here to support you, together we’ll work for making your student life the best it can be, despite the current strange conditions.