BM85: Empowering Students Affected by Climate-Induced Disasters
Recognising the profound and urgent impact of climate-induced disasters on the educational pursuits of students across Europe, the European Students’ Union, stands in solidarity with all students affected. Joining forces in addressing this pressing issue and fortifying support mechanisms for students facing adversities triggered by natural disasters will play a significant role in the future of student organising.
In August 2023, Slovenia bore witness to catastrophic floods and landslides. These disasters severely disrupted the lives of numerous students, posing significant threats to their academic endeavours and mental well-being. In response to these challenges, the universities of Slovenia, with the support of students’ initiatives, promptly formulated crucial measures aimed at supporting affected students.
The universities swiftly implemented measures that empowered affected students, such as:
Repeating Academic Years and Extending Student Status: Acknowledging the far-reaching impact of floods, students were granted the opportunity to repeat academic years and extend their student status in accordance with University Statutes and the newly passed Act Determining Intervention Measures for Recovery from the Floods and Landslides of August 2023.
Introducing Flexible Enrollment Deadlines: Recognizing the disruptions caused by the calamities, enrollment deadlines were extended, offering flexibility for those struggling to preserve their homes.
Prolonging Exam Period: Furthermore, universities facilitated a prolonged autumn exam period and provided supplementary exam sessions, exclusively for students affected by the natural disasters. These initiatives were instrumental in alleviating the academic burden and stress faced by the affected students, ensuring their continued progress in their educational pursuits.
The case of Slovenia underscores the pivotal role of institutional support in safeguarding student welfare amidst natural disasters. We urge national student unions across Europe to recognize, amplify, and implement similar support mechanisms in the future. This entails namely:
Collaborative Efforts: Unifying resources and support among student unions to effectively assist affected students in times of need.
Advocacy for Inclusive Policies: Encouraging the establishment of inclusive policies at national and institutional levels to accommodate flexible academic timelines and alternative examination arrangements in similar cases.
Awareness Campaigns: Educating student communities about the challenges faced by affected peers and disseminating information regarding available support mechanisms and rights.
Setting a Collective Example: Demonstrating solidarity and proactive measures to inspire a culture of compassion and support among European student communities.
Preparing Support Measures: Drafting guidelines for swift implementation in case of natural disasters.
Together, our shared commitment is to build a resilient future where students find support in overcoming adversities and pursuing their educational aspirations. We call upon the national student unions to stand united, ensuring that no student is left behind in the aftermath of climate-induced crises, ensuring an environment where every student can thrive, regardless of the challenges they face.
Proposers: ŠOS Slovenia
Seconders: ANOSR, NASC, FEF, UDU,