CS Ubuntu Newsletter April 2015
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CS Ubuntu Newsletter April 2015

In this Newsletter, please find:
  • an update from the Board
  • Save the Dates for the CS Ubuntu events for April
  • A calendar with events that might be of interest to CS Ubuntu members
  • An interview with Jason... our Jack of all trades
  • Some food for thought if you want to continue reading
  • A heads up on the next May
Enjoy the read!

Wieke, Leonie, Olivier
CS Ubuntu Activities
02 April:                  Excursion ICTY
08 April:                  Pre-departure meeting Bosnia
11 - 19 April::          Bosnia-Hercegovina Fieldtrip
Other activities
April - May:             Movies that Matter
01 April:                   Debat: Terrorisme en Veiligheid
11 - 19 April:           Bosnia-Hercegovina Fieldtrip
12 April - 5 May:     Haagse Vrijheidsweken
19 April:                  Deadline HPC essay

27 April:                  Kingsday
Statement CS Ubuntu on quality education at Utrecht University
CS Ubuntu supports the Centre for Conflict Studies, de Nieuwe Universiteit Utrecht and the teachers’ initiative Rethink UU in its quest for further democratization and continued high-quality education at Utrecht University. We are concerned about the disbalance between students’ interests and staff capacity in the fields of Conflict Studies and Human Rights. Our professors and lecturers are highly motivated in transferring their knowledge and skills and do a wonderful job at this, yet are restrained by the sheer number of courses and colleagues. This amounts to a high workload that leads to limited feedback on the work of students as well as limited research opportunities. In this globalized world, current affairs continue to show the significance of the concepts studied in the fields of Conflict Studies and Human Rights for students, educators, and citizens alike. As such, for an institution that wants to strengthen its interdisciplinary and international character, the time is now to rethink Utrecht University accordingly.

Update from the Board
Last week, we presented the above statement to the Centre for Conflict Studies together with testimonies from our students on the relevance of Conflict Studies and Human Rights. This sign of support was 
much appreciated. Thanks to everyone who contributed! If you haven't done so, please feel free to write a testimony on the relevance of Conflict Studies and the CCS and send it to
During the coming weeks, we ourselves will continue to work on stressing the importance of the Conflict Studies curriculum within the Faculty of Humanities and the Department of History and Art History. More action is needed to ensure high-quality education and research opportunities in these fields of study at the Utrecht University for both students and the staff of the Centre for Conflict Studies.

Our very own activities of the past month show why Conflict Studies is as relevant as ever and why it is helpful to have a set of analytic strategies ready when acts of violence are being debated and contested. Indeed, we had two intriguing lectures on the conflict in the Balkans at the end of the last century, where we learned about power, nationalism and framing, in preparation for our trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The screening of the BBC Documentary ‘War in Mostar’ powerfully showed how messy it can get when identities, human rights and human lives are at stake. Furthermore, during the fun lecture on cartoon wars, we were taught about the politics of humour in the transnational public sphere and discussed various ways of dealing with the moral seriousness of satire in order to preserve one’s dignity. It is these critical theories that we familiarize ourselves with in conflict studies, that put popular narratives of citizenship and violent conflict in perspective and in context.

We are looking forward to an exciting month ahead, with the excursion to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and our Fieldtrip to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Keep posted for more updates. All the best with the upcoming exams and see you around in April!
Save the Date: upcoming CS Ubuntu events
02 April, 10:00 AM, Excursion International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Hague
The Study Trip Committee organizes an excursion to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The tribunal prosecutes the major war criminals of the Balkan Wars that waged there in the '90s. The visit lasts for approximately two and a half hours and consists out of a general presentation by an ICTY representative and attending the hearing of Mladic. 

08 April,  7:15 PM, Pre-departure meeting, [location to be announced]
For the ones joining the Bosnia-Hercegovina Fieldtrip: We will assemble one last time before the trip to hand out booklets on the program in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and to exchange some tips and tricks on (what (not) to pack), while enjoying some drinks! Location will soon be announced through email. 

11 - 19 April, Bosnia-Hercegovina Fieldtrip
Having spend half a year on organising the ten-day fieldtrip to Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Study Trip Committee is truly looking forward to the trip. Of course we do as well. Next newsletter we will report on the trip and our experiences in Bosnia-Hercegovina. For the ones curious about the fieldtrip,: you can request a twenty minutes documentary made by our predecessor, by sending an email to

Other Activities that might be of interest to CS Ubuntu members
April - May, Movies that Matter
Movies that Matter, an Amnesty International, raises awareness for human rights through movies. In the next months, Movies that Matter tours through the Netherlands and screens some very interesting movies and documentaries. Click here for more information about the movies and locations.

01 April, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Debat: Terrorisme en Veiligheid, Achter Sint Pieter 200
For Dutchies: Na een succesvolle eerste debatavond rondom de gebeurtenissen in Parijs, presenteert Urios in samenwerking met Universiteit Utrecht een tweede debatavond waar de nadruk zal liggen op grondrechten en de verscherpte veiligheidsmaatregelen van de EU. Meld je aan door een email te sturen naar

Professor Antoine Buyse (Professor of Human Rights and Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights), Professor Bob de Graaff (Intelligence en Security Studies), dr. Jolle Demmers (Associate Professor and co-founder of the Centre for Conflict Studies), Sanne Oehlers en Janna Cheretis (masterstudenten European Governance).

12 April - 5 May, Haagse Vrijheidsweken, The Hague
For Dutchies: De Haagse Vrijheidsweken is een serie activiteiten over onderwerpen rond vrijheid, vrede, democratie, rechtsstaat en internationale rechtsorde. Van zondag 12 april tot en met dinsdag 5 mei staan ruim 40 activiteiten op het programma. Van debatten, wandelingen en tentoonstellingen tot films, lezingen en concerten. Hier vind je het complete programma in het Humanity House tijdens de Haagse Vrijheidsweken

19 April, Deadline: Essay Competition The Hague Peace Conference

The Hague University of Applied Sciences is organizing the Third Hague Peace Conference, not for government delegations but for the new generation of students who have a keen interest in contributing to better ideas on how to improve the maintenance of peace and humanitarian law. This Peace Conference will evolve around an essay competition. The students who write the best 100 essays will be invited. The essays should contain either proposals on strengthening humanitarian law like the Geneva Conventions, or on maintaining peace more effectively by the United Nations Security Council and regional organizations. A jury will select the essays. Students wishing to participate are requested to submit their essays before Sunday 19 April 2015

27 April, Kingsday!

You'd better get your orange outfit together for this day! Yaay!

Member of the Month: Jason King
Jason is CS Ubuntu's Jack of all trades. Amongst others he has designed the CS Ubuntu website. However, he also regularly visits CS Ubuntu activities. We wondered where his interest for conflict studies and human rights come from

1. How did you end up at CS Ubuntu?
I first got into contact with CS Ubuntu through Leonie, the association's secretary. At first I had no idea what to expect as the name of her study, Language and Culture Studies, left much to the imagination. But after many conversations I had with her about what her planning and pursuits it all became less abstract and so more interesting.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about the things you did for CS Ubuntu?
It started with a photoshoot with the CS Ubuntu Board. I made a couple of photos for of Wieke, Leonie and Olivier so that they had some visual means to introduce themselves in their newsletters and on the website. I did not know it at the time, but this first collaboration would be the first of many. As such, I designed the website (still in the progress), which was a lot of fun to do together with Leonie and we closely collaborated to get the look and feeling of the website right. My latest project has been the photoshoot for the ‘Sexy Besturenkalender 2015’. This was something that I had not done before: directing people in a photoshoot. At times it was a little awkward (due to the lack of clothing) but the board performed wonderfully and the result, it should be mentioned, is a success.

3. Your previous study does not directly connect to conflict studies and human rights. Yet you have been joining a couple of CS Ubuntu’s activities. Where does your interest in conflict studies and human rights come from?
I’m interested in anything and everything that I’m not very familiar with. Before I met Leonie and the CS Ubuntu board I had very little knowledge of conflict studies and human rights. As of today my knowledge is still very limited, but I’m learning new things through each activity. The last few activities focused on former Yugoslavia before, during and after the war. The lecture from van den Berg from PAX was particularly informative and a great introduction to the subject. Since then I heard refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina lecture (very interesting to get an insight into the grassroots level), and I attended a masterclass by Sir Geoffrey Nice (the two hours we listened was way too short... he has so many interesting things to tell) whom I would have never met if I was not as inquisitive as I am.

4. What's the best career advice that you ever got?
Do what you love doing! My apologies for the cliche but it is not a cliche for nothing (again another cliche, sorry!). There is nothing as stupid as doing something you do not like: life is simply too short for that. People are not interesting because of what they do but how passionate they are about what they do.

Food for Thought
Rethink UU: What are your testimonies on Conflict Studies for?
Some of you have written a testimony on the relevance of Conflict Studies and Human Rights - for which we would like to thank you once again. But what are these testimonies for? This DUB article (in Dutch, unfortunately) gives you an insight into Rethink UU, the collective of teachers striving for more democracy and more autonomy within Utrecht University.

BBC, Serbia arrests seven over 1995 Srebrenica massacre
Serbian police have arrested seven men accused of taking part in the slaughter of over 1,000 Muslims at a warehouse on the outskirts of Srebrenica. These seven are among the first to be arrested by Serbia for carrying out the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995, BBC reports.

Al Jazeera: Yemen is a defining moment for King Salman
Saudi Arabia's decision to lead a 10-country coalition of Arab states into military action in Yemen is a defining moment for King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, only two months into his post. In conjunction with the GCC and a host of western countries pledging support, Saudi Arabia has forecefully played its hand against the Houthi rebels which have overrun Yemen and who have received the backing of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Very interesting article on the actors playing out in Yemen.

Website and Next Newsletter
We are proud to announce we have an official website now, though it is still under construction. People are working on extending the website and giving it a fancy look, but anyway, check it out: If you have any suggestions for the website; feel free to inform us by emailing to .

Expect our next CS Ubuntu Newsletter in your inbox in the first week of May. If you have any input, feedback or updates on interesting events, please let us know at We love to hear from you! :)

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