26 August 2022

Study start: Everyone should thrive and feel safe at social sciences


When more than a thousand new students arrive at The Faculty of Social Sciences this autumn, both tutors and the dean's office will insist that life on campus is safe and inclusive.

Intro days for students at social sciences
Social science students enjoying the intro days

It's exciting to start studying – but it can also be overwhelming to arrive on campus, meet hundreds of new people and be challenged intellectually as never before.

This year, the many tutors at the faculty have an extra focus on ensuring that all the new students feel included.

"We need to reach out to every student right from the start. We have to accommodate everyone, from those who love to be the focal point of a party, to those who just want to enjoy a cup of coffee and a board game in their spare time or simply prefer reading in peace and quiet," says Astrid Larsen, who coordinates the tutor process at Department of Economics.

We tutors must pay particular attention to the students who have slightly more difficulty in participating in such a large community or perhaps do not want to drink alcohol. We have to demonstrate that we can have fun in all sorts of different ways.

Isabella Kira Mani, tutor at the Department of Economics

All boundaries must be respected

Isabella Kira Mani, also a tutor on economics, agrees:

"We tutors must pay particular attention to the students who have slightly more difficulty in participating in such a large community or perhaps do not want to drink alcohol. We have to demonstrate that we can have fun in all sorts of different ways," she explains, and elaborates:

"When it comes to respecting everyone's boundaries, the students are always welcome to contacts us tutors if they feel uncomfortable in any way. We will handle all inquiries with discretion."

In the planning of this year's intro course, tutor Johannes Blume is extra focused on respect for diversity and everyone's feel of safety.

"In the past, there have been some social games that belonged to the past – or perhaps don’t belong here at SAMF at all. These games have been stopped. Our retreat now only includes parties on two days, and during daytime there is focus on everyone being able to take part in all the activities,” he says.

A versatile study environment

Also the faculty management has extra focus on this year’s introduction securing that it will be a good experience for everyone.

"We want to create the best university environment where we collectively insist on having freedom and tolerance, and where we accept and respect each other's positions and boundaries," says Dean Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen and continues:

"You will, with guarantee, meet other students who think differently than yourself, with whom you do not agree or who have a different approach to party and social interaction. Under these circumstances, it is crucial that we retain mutual respect."

Parties and Friday bars with alcohol will continuously be part of the versatile student life at Faculty of Social Sciences. Other aspects of the study environment are displayed when the students meet for board games, running clubs and debate events.

"There's something for everyone here at SAMF. Moreover, social activities strengthen your academic commitment. I have some people that I'm looking forward to seeing every day," tells Isabella Kira Mani.

Focus on well-being

Something new that will be rolled out this autumn is the project "Together at SAMF – ABC for mental health at the university". This initiative, which is headed by a group of researchers from the Department of Psychology, will help improve students' well-being.

"For most young people, the study years are a good period of their lives, socially and academically. Unfortunately, there are also a number of young people who, to varying degrees, do not thrive," says project manager Line Nielsen.

The project's academic starting point is the 'ABC for mental Health' – a research-based effort for mental health promotion, aimed at the entire population. The focus is on building up resources for both the individual and the surroundings, so that more people can thrive.

"First of all, we want to increase awareness among students about what they can do to strengthen their own and other people's mental health. Secondly, we want to promote a good study environment by focusing on the frameworks and conditions of the study programmes and the campus," explains Line Nielsen.

Let's insist

Among the first things the new students will see when they arrive at campus are banners with the headline ‘Let's insist’. It covers, among other things, values like acceptance, respect, dialogue and debate, which Faculty of Social Sciences insists on.

"We tolerate no forms of discrimination, violence and abuse. Campus must be safe for everyone," explains Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen and elaborates:

"We also insist on the democratic conversation. Where both the critic and the criticised participates. Discussing and listening. This is a prerequisite for creating changes in our society," he concludes.

Read more about the campaign here (in Danish)

Here you can find help

In the student Counsellors ' office, you can contact us with all sorts of enquiries, both large and small. Academically, socially, practically and personally. Find more information here

Would you like to know more about well-being efforts at SAMF? Read here

Would you like to have a dialogue or debate with us? Or do you have an idea for a topic you think we should debate? Please write to us at kommunikation@samf.ku.dk