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Véronique Hédou, totally engaged in exercising her functions

Véronique Hédou is a lec­tur­er-cum-research sci­en­tist in applied math­e­mat­ics at UTC and has been in charge of “stu­dent cam­pus life” for over 7 years now; she solves math­e­mat­i­cal prob­lems as well as the ques­tions of the stu­dents who rely on her in their asso­cia­tive projects. Her objec­tive: to let them remain the mas­ters of their project, to accom­pa­ny them with­out doing it for them, to pro­vide them advice with­out decid­ing things for them. A suc­cess­ful equation!

Pure grad­u­ate prod­uct from the Uni­ver­si­ty Rennes I, Véronique Hédou did all her stud­ies there and obtained her PhD in Math­e­mat­ics and Appli­ca­tions. She took up a posi­tion as a lec­tur­er at UTC after gain­ing her PhD. Today, she is main­ly involved in the UTC core cur­ricu­lum, in the CC cours­es that are essen­tial for any future engi­neer. A few years ago, a skills assess­ment showed her how much she is attached to this school. “UTC is an inte­gral part of my life and some­times over­flows on my per­son­al life, even more since I am in charge of the stu­dent life”, she admits. She is in charge of over­see­ing stu­dent cam­pus life. At the begin­ning, her mis­sion con­sist­ed main­ly in accom­pa­ny­ing the some­what more than 120 UTC stu­dent asso­ci­a­tions, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ‘Bureau des élèves’ (BDE), as well as var­i­ous inter-semes­ter activ­i­ties. This was enriched over the years with the fol­low-up and the accom­pa­ni­ment of pre­ven­tive actions (alco­hol issues, sex­ist and sex­u­al vio­lence…) in con­nec­tion with the pre­ven­tive med­i­cine, man­age­ment of all the stu­dent jobs at the UTC (more than 300 per year), man­age­ment of the con­tri­bu­tion to stu­dent and cam­pus life, rep­re­sen­ta­tion of UTC con­cern­ing the stu­dent life in general. 

“Our students are fantastic!” 

“As I often say dur­ing meet­ings with my coun­ter­parts from oth­er engi­neer­ing schools or uni­ver­si­ties: “Our stu­dents are fan­tas­tic! They engage them­selves, what­ev­er the per­son­al cost, in the cam­pus life of UTC and show a very great matu­ri­ty in their asso­cia­tive projects while bril­liant­ly suc­ceed­ing in demand­ing stud­ies. They have a degree of auton­o­my that many envy us. This is undoubt­ed­ly the rea­son for their suc­cess on the job mar­ket. Their opin­ion is real­ly tak­en into account. For exam­ple, the stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Coun­cil for Stud­ies and Uni­ver­si­ty Life (CEVU) have sup­port­ed the “par­tic­i­pa­to­ry bud­get” project result­ing from the Stu­dent and Cam­pus Life Con­tri­bu­tion (CVEC), or a work­ing group made up of stu­dents has launched the imple­men­ta­tion of a pol­i­cy to take account of sex­ist and sex­u­al vio­lence.” They are real­ly every­day col­lab­o­ra­tors, whether the elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives or the mem­bers of the BDE. 

A matter of confidence and means 

The means at their dis­pos­al are main­ly in bud­gets allo­ca­tions from the Region Hauts-de-France, the Sor­bonne Uni­ver­si­ty clus­ter, or the CVEC (see above). Thus, the stu­dents have access to a large num­ber of stu­dent jobs with­in UTC every year and in par­tic­u­lar, for the last year, to both method­olog­i­cal and ped­a­gog­i­cal tutor­ing, by and for the stu­dents, with the help of the Region­al author­i­ties. Depend­ing on the sub­ject, the work is car­ried out with the pre­ven­tive med­i­cine ser­vice, the logis­tics ser­vice, or oth­er ser­vices of the UTC. “We cre­at­ed a stu­dent cam­pus life office a lit­tle over two years ago, just before the start of the pan­dem­ic, with admin­is­tra­tive staff. The aim is that each stu­dent can find help to ori­en­tate them­selves with whom to con­tact for a cer­tain ques­tion, how to apply for a stu­dent job. We hope that this office will be oper­a­tional at the start of the new school year,” Véronique Hédou has also cre­at­ed a sec­tion in the ENT enti­tled “Stu­dents: need some help?”, so that stu­dents can eas­i­ly find help when faced with a prob­lem, be it psy­cho­log­i­cal, finan­cial or some­thing else “These are just a few exam­ples, but it takes a lot of time. That’s why I reg­u­lar­ly call on a project man­ag­er to help me, in addi­tion to the per­son in the stu­dent life cam­pus office. I hope to be able to hire her part-time soon, as the num­ber of projects is growing.” 

“Life goes on, after and outside the class-room!” 

Véronique Hédou’s main goal is to improve stu­dent cam­pus life for all UTC stu­dents, so that no one is left out. “To make sure that they can find solu­tions to their prob­lems and devel­op them­selves in par­al­lel with their stud­ies because, as the BDE reminds us, there is a life after and out­side the class-room!” This pro­vides them with a frame­work that is more con­ducive to their stud­ies and per­son­al devel­op­ment. Some actions respond direct­ly to a request from them, oth­ers are designed to help them with­out them nec­es­sar­i­ly being con­vinced at the out­set, such as lim­it­ing the degree of beer at par­ties. “She is some­times called the ‘stu­den­t’s moth­er’. Thanks to her, we have a rich stu­dent life at UTC,” assures Pierre Kidz­ié, 22 years old, stu­dent in Urban Engi­neer­ing. “She has a good mem­o­ry and an unfail­ing com­mit­ment. She answers our ques­tions 24/24.” We would need a com­plete Inter­ac­tions mag­a­zine to relate all that Véronique Hédou brings to UTC stu­dent life.

2022 FOLLOW-ON

New projects are born every year, such as Imag­i­nar­i­um, a music fes­ti­val that brought togeth­er 13 000 peo­ple over two days in 2019, run entire­ly by stu­dents. “Accom­pa­ny­ing them from the begin­ning of the idea to the real­i­sa­tion of the project is always a real plea­sure. They are so inven­tive that there is nev­er a dull moment! This year, we hope to see the fes­ti­val return on June 4 and 5. We also hope to see Com­piègne in the spot­light again, Fes­tupic enchant­i­ng us with its street walk and shows at the Espace Jean-Legendre, and to final­ly see the inno­v­a­tive sol­i­dar­i­ty gro­cery shop move to new premis­es. Let’s con­tin­ue to give coher­ence to stu­dent life as a whole with human and finan­cial sup­port to car­ry out projects,” con­cludes Véronique Hédou. “And, above all, let our stu­dents no longer be muz­zled and con­fined in a cage because of the health cri­sis and let them enjoy their youth.”

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