Our young union already has a lot of history, as it has not been founded in one day. At the beginning of this already successful union, we had no idea what it would become.
Beer in Groningen
Like most good ideas, this one started in the pub. The idea to found a student union for physical therapy students in the school. We already looked inside our university for possibilities, but it never came to something specific. After quite a few drinks in the Ome Ko, we started brainstorming about a student union and what it would look like.
Of course, the next morning the options were not as fresh in our collective minds. But from this moment on we started looking for answers and options. At the terrace in Amsterdam, before the football match between Netherlands and Macedonia, we (Davy, Daniëlle, Jelte and Roland) decided to found the student union for physical therapy students.
After a few more brainstorming nights, again in the pub, it became time to put the first serious steps in motion. We didn’t knew what we were starting or what we are doing but it was clear we needed a 5th board member, and it had to be a women. On the 27thMay, there was the first board meeting with 3 agenda points:
- Recruit a new board member
- Have a conversation with team leader of the university
- Interpretation of the student union
These are pretty important points for the union.
Within this interpretation, we decided there has to be a little magazine and a committee responsible for organizing activities. After these points, all options were open. We also estimated the total of members (cautiously) at 250.
In the second week of June, there were applications held in search of a new member. We started the evening with playing some pool. Now, the more serious questions would be asked. Ralph Lases helped out. We were like a boat knowing where we want to go but not knowing in which direction we wanted to sail (a metaphor used a lot inside this board, most of the time by Davy). Then Ralph jumped in with another metaphor. He said: “You guys need an anchor”. And an anchor we found.
With Dieuwke Knoll on board, we knew which direction to sail and confident we could now convince the university of our plan, but we had to start with the team leaders of Physical Therapy study program. We got our plan together by 24th June and handed it over to the team leaders, all 21 pages long! It had 8 committees and a budget of €8000. On the 2nd July we received the ’GO’ and so we could now go to see to the Dean. The first big steps had been made, the ship could leave the shore.
Meanwhile, we decided to hang some nice posters at school to find the perfect name for the new union. From all the brilliant contributions we received (…like Anatomitas, Bitrify, FysioFockers), the new name needed to be picked. We sat down at Davy’s place and called our parents and friends to help us with this big decision. Eventually, we chose for contribution of Vicky Schoch; Fysiek.
After all the preparations, the summer holidays were coming soon and there was still some important things that needed to be done, like making the union legal. The statutes were formed 480km to the south of Groningen, at a camp side between Luxembourg and Germany. Davy and Roland were there for a week’s vacation. At the terrace, while enjoying the sun and a beer, they worked hard on the statutes. Other camping guests were amazed at the amount of elaborate words they used but on the night of 7thAugust, their work was done.
The statutes were emailed to the notary for revision after which we needed to make some small adjustments. When Davy and Roland arrived home to the Netherlands, the 3 gentlemen board members went, on 12th August, to the notary in Dronten. After signing the statutes, the moment was celebrated in a local pub. Dreams were becoming reality and there was no way back now.
It was a very busy period where we needed to meet every day. The introduction week was coming closer, one of our main deadlines. How are we going to promote the union? How are we going to arrange the financial stuff? How do we arrange the acquisition? In the week starting 24th August, we came together every day. We wrote a committee plan, an acquisition plan, a promotion plan, an SCC plan and we had a bank account. We made a promotion movie based on the program ‘Tussen de Oren’ where all kinds of movies about physical therapy and Groningen received. Jelle provided the voiceover with his convincing military voice, which was very impressive!
The introduction camp was a big success! All the mentors, supervisors and of course the introduction committee were enthusiastic about the union and made sure that after the camp there was already 200 members signed in. The board organized a constitution drink for all the other HBO boards of other unions. Young and dynamic were already characteristics of the union, so instead of glass with champagne, the other boards got a glass with magical golden flakes in it: Goldstrike 7-up!
The opening party would be held at the night of 8 September 2009, so we could celebrate at exactly 0.00, on the magical date of 09-09-’09, the start of the union for physical therapist students called FSV Fysiek. The start of a new period in physical therapy!