More details so you can get the most out of OWL
Information for Participants:
We would like to provide you with some essential information regarding the Summer OWL programme to ensure a clear understanding of your options and expectations:
- Flexibility of Attendance: Please note that all events throughout the programme are optional. We want to emphasise that it is your introduction week, and you have the freedom to choose the events that align best with your interests and preferences. Feel free to participate in the activities that resonate with you. We understand that circumstances may arise that prevent you from attending certain events or days during the Summer OWL. We want to ensure you that it is absolutely acceptable and understandable. The programme is designed to offer a range of options, and you are free to attend the events that suit your availability and preferences. In the occasion that you cannot make it to an event or a day, please inform your guides so that they don’t have to wait for you.
- Ticketed Events: Certain events, such as the PubcrOWL and the End Party, require the purchase of tickets. Please be aware that these event tickets are not included in the fee for the OWL week (the prices are to be confirmed but you can expect the PubcrOWL tickets to cost somewhere between 8 – 12 euros and the End party tickets to cost somewhere between 13 – 16 euros). We offer you the opportunity to join these events if you wish, but we want to assure you that there is no obligation to participate. Only attendees pay for the participation of these events. We will provide further details on how to obtain these tickets closer to the Summer OWL week. In the programme, you will find that there are events happening simultaneously. This is so that you can chose to attend whatever you like as it is likely that not all events are to your taste.
- OWL App: Yes, we have an app! The OWL app will be available on all App Stores and Play Stores closer to the time of the Summer OWL week (you will receive further communication in August). But first a few points of clarification:
- Login in: Sometime in August, you will get an email containing the login details of your personal OWL app. Only registered participants will be able to login.
- The OWL app contains all the information you will need throughout the OWL week. You will be able to see the programme and your schedule based on your group. Here’s some information that will be available on the OWL app:
- Information on your faculty
- Location of events (there is a map feature that will help you navigate your way to the venues).
- Technical help if you run into trouble with the app
- Some events require shifts – we will arrange this for you beforehand and on the OWL app – here, you will find what time your group shift starts.
- Challenges: Throughout the week, we have prepared some challenges and goals for you to meet! You’ll get the chance to upload photos, videos and texts to prove your group has completed the challenge. Your group will be competing with other groups so the more challenges your group completes, the closer you are to the surprise OWL prize!
- Programme Schedule Subject to Change: As we are in the final stages of refining the programme, there is a possibility of slight changes to the schedule. We are diligently working on the finalisation process to ensure the best experience for all participants. Rest assured, any modifications will be communicated to you in a timely manner via the OWL app.
Our primary goal is to ensure that you have an enjoyable and personalised introduction week experience. If you have any further inquiries or require additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – check the FAQ & Contacts page.
OWL policies, mission, and values
When planning the events in the programme for OWL we do our best to ensure that we are as sustainable as possible. We take this matter very seriously as it is, of course, associated with OWL’s holistic approach. We make it a priority to be mindful of our environment; we have already been considering the impact of our actions on the well-being of society, both locally, in Leiden, and globally. OWL recognises that our actions can have long-lasting effects on people and communities, particularly those that are marginalized or vulnerable. We know that sustainability is crucial for mitigating the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, more frequent natural disasters, and loss of biodiversity. That being said, here are some example of how we ensure we are as sustainable as possible:
We use reusable Ecocups and give free reusable OWL water bottles in the participant fairtrade welcome bags so that throughout the week we can minimise waste and prevent using single-use cups and water bottles. On top of that, there are free taps and water fountains around Leiden that provide drinkable water so handing the OWL water bottles to our participants is actually a great way to be sustainable. Additionally, during summer, we schedule and coordinate our outdoor events in close proximity to these taps and water fountains to facilitate convenient water availability.
Digital communication: OWL minimises paper use by sending out invitations, reminders, and other event-related communications via email or social media.
- Waste reduction: We also encourage OWL members to recycle during the event. We facilitate this by ensuring that there are enough recycling and composting bins in the areas where the events are held.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
OWL is open and available for people with diverse backgrounds, and we make it a priority that our participants and members of OWL feel included. This is very important to us because we know how much of a difference this can make to the OWL week experience. Here are some areas we work on. If you feel we can be even more inclusive or take other things into consideration or, if you have any questions regarding this matter, please send us your concerns via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also note that the information here does not capture the full extent of our efforts, we have simply provided a snapshot of the things we do and that there is much more going on behind the scenes.
OWL aims to push diversity, inclusion, and equity in many ways. Promotion is a way that we hope to achieve this.
- promoting LU’s resources
- Diversity and inclusion networks
- Inclusion blogs
- Relevant associations
One of the most significant ways we can ensure diversity and inclusion is by making the groups as varied as possible. We form groupings based on participants’ study programmes, however, within that we make efforts to have the following diversity domains. In the online sign-up forms that are filled in for registration, we provide opportunities for participants to give the following information so that we can consider these aspects when making the groups.
- physical and neurological ability
We offer a programme that is full of variety so that all participants can choose to attend events that they like or are a fit for them. Often times, we offer simultaneous activities such as a PubcrOWL and a chill board game night. This example showcases our consideration for those who may choose to opt for a more relaxed evening. The best thing about these simultaneous events is the groups can split up, that way everyone can try everything!
We take great care to ensure that our venue locations are easily accessible for all participants, regardless of any physical disabilities they may have. We understand that accessibility is of utmost importance, and we strive to accommodate our participants by finding ways to make their experience as seamless and comfortable as possible. For instance, if we have participants who use wheelchairs, we ensure that the terrain is wheelchair-friendly and that all necessary accommodations such as ramps are in place at each location.
Consent and Student Well-Being
- The organisation:
- As an organization that is dedicated to providing a welcoming environment for students to participate in our unique and diverse program, we take the issue of consent and well-being very seriously. It is our top priority to ensure that newcomers, guides and crew members feel safe and supported during the introduction week. We understand the importance of creating an environment that is inclusive and accommodating to all, which is why we are committed to promoting social safety.
- Our app, which goes live a few days before the start of the week, contains plenty of information and resources for those who may need support or guidance related to consent and well-being. While we are not professionals in this field, we recognize the crucial role we play in referring people to the appropriate resources and services if something arises or if they need help in any way.
- We invite all to share their concerns with us, as we are here to help them find the right person to talk to. The OWL office is located at Plexus, 25 Kaiserstraat, where you can also find student services and the student well-being desks. Our ultimate goal is to create safe spaces through mutual respect and social responsibility, and we are committed to working towards this goal with our participants, staff, and partners.
- Recruitment and training:
- When selecting our team of guides and crew, we take great care in ensuring that each member is a good fit for our organization. We conduct an extensive interview process to get to know the guides better and assess their suitability for the role. We believe that it takes a special kind of person to be an owlsome guide, and we want to ensure that our team is made up of individuals who possess the necessary skills, qualities, and dedication to make the orientation week a success. In the training days, we inform guides and crew about their responsibilities which, of course, includes social safety. It is essential for us that the whole team understands the importance of social safety and consent. We want everyone to have a pleasant experience during the OWL week. We ask everyone to sign a consent form so that way we can ensure everyone is aware of the expectations and of the agreements.