Who are we?
We are study association Gen K, an association by and for Gender Studies students at Utrecht University.
You may not be familiar with the term “study association” if you haven’t attended university in the Netherlands before, so allow us to explain! A study association is an organization for students that is tied to a specific program. Most Bachelor programs, as well as some Master programs, in the Netherlands have a study association. For us, it’s slightly different than usual. Since the department of Gender Studies at Utrecht University offers many different programs we decided it would be most convenient to set up an association that would be accessible to everyone in a Gender or Postcolonial Studies program.You may have heard of the term “studentenvereniging” (student association) before; however, there is a slight difference between the two. Where student associations are accessible to anyone who is enrolled in college or university and mostly revolve around social activities, study associations are based on the program they are tied to, and all members of the association are connected to the program(s). It is a place for students to get together for both academic enrichment, career development and social interaction.
The programs of Gender Studies in Utrecht did not have a study association previously. At the moment, for most Gender Studies students at Utrecht University, contact largely takes place between students from the same work group or the same study program and little or no relationship is visible cross-program nor with alumni. As a study association, we seek to promote contact between students from various Gender Studies programs and our aim is to strengthen contact and connection within the Gender Studies department. We stimulate these relationships by offering informative curriculum activities and social activities which allow for more possibilities to connect cross-program.
Study association Gen K is established to offer an academic, interactive, and safe(r) platform to students of all Gender Studies programs at Utrecht University, including the Gender Studies Minor, the Postcolonial Studies Minor, the Pre-Master program, the Master program, the Research Master program, the international GEMMA program, the Postcolonial Studies Master program, and alumni. The main objective of the study association is to allow students to come together, to provide academic depth, to organize activities, to enable cross-program networking and socializing, and to exchange ideas. It offers an informal place to connect all Gender Studies students from Utrecht University.
Our name is derived from the shortening of the word ‘generation’ to ‘gen’, which can be read ambiguously to also be an abbreviation for ‘gender’. The ‘K’ in the name points to ‘killjoy’, which refers to queer theorist Sara Ahmed’s concept of the ‘feminist killjoy’. Read together, Gen K is a slight nod to the terminology used to refer to different generations (Gen X, Gen Z, etc). This is simultaneously a way to reflect the different years that are represented within the association. The study association represents students from all Gender Studies related programs at Utrecht University.