The Erasmus Music Association welcomed the public to the Erasmus Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon at four o’clock sharp to the tune of Ariana Grande’s ‘Almost is Never Enough’. The five nominees for the title of Student of the Year then filed into the hall in an alternative kind of cortège, led by Erasmus and ‘bagpipe Richard’ who played Scottish bagpipe music.

EMA during The Bye Bye Show 2022-Ali Alshamayleh.jpg
The Erasmus Music Association played Ariana Grande’s Almost is Never Enough during The Bye Bye Show, among other songs. Image credit: Ali Alshamayleh

Inspirational students

During The Bye Bye Show (the unofficial closing of the academic year) everything revolvesdaround the Student of the Year election. The board of Geneeskundestudenten In De Samenleving (Medical Students in Society), Berfu Ege Söbe, Sandra Garstka, Kyra Mulders and Amir Abdelmoumen had all been nominated by a jury for the title. The Student of the Year award is not awarded to someone on the merits of their academic success, but rather to a student who has worked selflessly to help others, both inside and outside of their studies.

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Audience of The Bye Bye Show welcomes the five nominees for the Student of the Year election. Image credit: Ali Alshamayleh


More than two thousand people voted for the nominees. As the show came to an end, Tessa and David announced the winner of Student of the Year election: Sandra Garstka.

Sandra Garstka-student of the year 2022 – Alisa Mahaletska

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“What a fantastic surprise!” Sandra states at the reception. “What an honour to be given the title Student of the Year. I really didn’t expect to win, because the other students have done so much more than me.” The success of her fundraiser for Ukraine has motivated her to do more, she says. Now she is taking part in another initiative: Safe Harbour. “It’s a Rotterdam initiative and the idea is to turn empty office buildings into housing for Ukrainian refugees.”

Huge impact

Student Hanna feels that Sandra deserved to win. “I think she’s really inspiring. I was on campus and also donated during the campaign, but I didn’t know that she was the one who initiated all of that.” Psychology student Xina adds, “I saw her campaign pop up on my social media. I have lots of Ukrainian friends, so I know her campaign had a huge impact on the community.”

Student Vitalii also voted for Sandra. “I’m from Ukraine. Sandra is not even a Ukrainian, but she has done so much for my people. I find that genuinely heartwarming. And that’s more than enough reason to vote for her.”

Rector magnificus Annelien Bredenoord also congratulated Sandra Source: