University Council Update – December 2022

The second university council of this year has taken place, and Student Party SAM is still busy representing all students at the university. Topics such as internationalization, study spaces, and communication to students are of very high importance to us. Subsequently, during the committee meetings and council meeting, we worked hard to address all students’ worries concerning these topics. If there are things you would like to see changed, send your ideas and input to us!

First of all, we handed in a follow-up initiative to our joint initiative with Student Party ECCO of last year: Board Grants for non-EEA Students. Following this initiative last year, we have had a meeting with the Executive Board, policy staff, Committee Board Grants, and study association Flow. It was proposed to start a pilot in September 2023, in which students of boards of the University Council, Faculty Council, and Education Committees. This pilot will take 3 years and be assessed after, in the hope of it being rolled out to student and study associations. 

Another topic on the agenda was the early closing of buildings to save energy. The university wants to close all buildings at 19h, except for the Library, Cube, and Esplanade. We have expressed criticism on this, as there is no clear communication plan to let students know where study spaces are available. We hear a lot of signals that students think there are too few study spaces, so deem it very important that this is communicated clearly. Next to that, it was stated in the documents that the associations in the Tias building agreed to move their work in the evening to the Esplanade building. We expressed that this was not communicated to them. A conversation between the board and associations will follow.

Furthermore, a letter was sent to the University Council by Front expressing the wish for more digitalization in education. Proposed is the idea of making recorded lectures available 14 days before exams. SAM and the other faculty parties signed this letter. We think it is important to give out a signal to the Executive Board and express the wishes and needs of students. We hope more research and discussions will follow, to look at the possibility of implementing this. 

Fourth, the new minors policy was on the agenda. We expressed our contentment about the plans and the idea, but also expressed our critique on the practicality of the plan and the increase in work pressure. More explanation on this will follow in another elaboration memo. 

Moreover, the vending and coffee machines are going to be replaced. The plan is to remove the chocolate milk and soup, as these are too unhealthy. The University Council expressed that it would be better to increase the healthy options instead of decreasing the unhealthy options. Further information will follow in another university council.

Another update is that the signing to the (lecture) rooms in the Cobbenhagen building will be redone during the first quarter of the year because it is too unclear right now. 

Furthermore, Changes to the Dual Career Regulations and The Annual Plan Occupational Health, Safety & Environment (Arbo- en milieuplan) have been approved. The field hockey grants have been expanded to a more general talent grant, and Vidar competition rowers need to complete 18 ECTS in the first semester. 

Also, the plans for the JADS council have been advised positively, JADS will get a participatory council, of which the election will be held in March 2023. Next to that, the budget and the headlines have been advised positively and approved.

Lastly, Several elaboration memos of the strategy were on the agenda. Topics were sustainability, collaborations in various programs and platforms, and decreasing bureaucracy. The first parts of the dashboard with the progress of the strategy will be ready in January 2023.

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