Meet Carina Jensen, coordinator of LU350, Lund University’s 350th anniversary, which will be celebrated from December 2016 to January 2018.
“Well, we’ve passed the ideas stage and are now into the preparation phase. The LU350 committee received over 270 ideas that have been whittled down to around 100. They cover everything from simple merchandise to research symposia.”
How are you involving the rest of the University?
“We’ve visited all the faculties and stressed how important it is that everyone gets involved and feels that it is their jubilee and not an invention from central level.”
What reactions have you had?
“A lot of people think it’s an exciting and inspiring idea, but some are also worried that it will mean more work. Some think it’s still a long time away and that it’s too early to start planning.”
But aren’t they right in some ways?
“The idea is not that we are going to do a lot of new things. We want to emphasise the things we already do really well by including them in the anniversary activities. It is also important to plan ahead because there are a lot of things that need to be synchronised. It would be a shame, for example, if the Humanities and Theology Days clashed with another faculty’s anniversary event.”
Why is it important for everyone at LU to get involved?
“If we all feel like a part of both our history and our future, and realise that we are ONE organisation where everyone plays a part, then we can also create a better sense of community.
“Since the budget is very limited, it’s necessary for everyone to help out.”
But isn’t the budget of SEK 22 million for the anniversary rather a lot of money?
“The money’s got to last for six years, for both the planning and operational phases. SEK 2 million is earmarked for books, and in time we will need to recruit more staff to the LU350 Office. However, we don’t want all the money to go to salaries. We want it to be used to plan and put on activities that will make it a jubilee to remember!”
What are the biggest challenges at the moment?
“Getting the faculties and departments to report their activities for the calendar of events. Getting people involved both internally and externally. Getting everyone to start planning for 2017 now. Working on the question of alumni. It would be great if alumni days at the faculties could be coordinated so that everyone could take part in a joint alumni event in the evening.
“The work to get our new students involved is also just starting. Many of them will probably still be here during the anniversary.”
What impact will the anniversary have on the rest of Lund?
“A lot. We have got Folkuniversitetet involved and they have started their own LU350 group. ESS are interested in being a part of it. We are also working to organise joint events with the local councils and the business sector in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö, and also with the campus in Ljungbyhed.”
Text: Maria Lindh
Photo: Gunnar Menander