Unlike the two previous editions, there was less joy but mostly mixed feelings with the winner of the Student of the Year award. Mohammed, originally from Gaza and now a medical student at Erasmus MC, was nominated because of his commitment to Palestinian students in the Netherlands and in Gaza. He was emotional when asked about his feelings about the nomination. “It is not special what I am doing, it should be normal. I am doing it for the sake of my people for the sake of humanity and humanitarian law.”

Chill tunes

The Student of the Year live show, organised for the third time by EM and Studium General at the Pavilion, began with excitement over the student dressed up in full-green as Desiderius Erasmus standing at the entrance. People looking for a place to sit were greeted with chill tunes coming from the student band Empa Nadas and the dim lighting from the decorated stage. Following ‘bag pipe Richard’ and the human statue Erasmus all the candidates walked up to their first-row seats followed by the cheerful claps of the audience. David Boeren and Tessa Hofland hosted the live show and urged the candidates to come to the stage one by one.
The live show program included The EURvision winner Christina performing a self-written song. “I think my fifteen-year-old self is proud”, says Christina, who wrote the song at that age. The medical students Noor Willemijn de Wijs was welcomed to the stage to perform her own poems.

2024-05-29 EUR Student of the Year (Arie Kers) (301)
Image credit: Arie Kers

Outstanding nominees

“They are all outstanding in a different way”, says Robert Dur, professor at the Erasmus School of Economics, as a member of the jury about the nominees. He described that it was hard to pick a winner because the nominees were all ‘future world leaders’.

Speech filled with emotions

Tessa and David teased the crowd by initiating a few drumrolls from the band and finally they announced the winner of the student of the year: Mohammed Shamallakh. After a few moments of being speechless and filled with emotion Mohammed turned to the audience. “Thank you for being here, this is important for me and for all the good causes that are being done by the nominees here it means a lot”, and to end on a lighter note, ‘stay fabulous’.
Hassnae Boubrik, last year’s winner of the Student of the Year, came to the stage and addressed all the nominees saying: “I am so proud of you.”

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The audience cheered when presenters David Boeren and Tessa Hofland announced at the end…

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