News - September 10, 2015

Conflict between University and Student Council

Linda van der Nat

The student council and the university cannot come to an agreement about the size of the grants for students serving on a board. An attempt to mediation last summer did not yield anything new. The university has decided to call in the help of a national arbitration board.

The new student council has hardly had the chance to divide the tasks before they received this first challenge arrived: the FOS (financial support students). This regulation offers financial compensation for the delay that students incur when they decide to become a board member of student organizations such as the Student Council, the large student societies or the sports foundation Thymos. Until the start of this academic year the amount of money was linked to the basic grant (289 euro per month).

The student council has been working hard to reach a compensation of 370 euro per month for board students. Besides that, the council wanted a form of compensation for the master students of the Social Sciences. These students received a compensation from the university because the Wageningen programs are not acknowledged as two year masters. Because of the Social Loan System, this compensation will now cease.

The board of directors suggested to carry on with the proposal of the university, 320 euro per month, and to then evaluate throughout the year. The board of directors did not consider the arrangement for the Social Science students necessary. It would be a grant of something that was not granted earlier and, as the board of directors says, ‘changes in the regulations is not a reason to change the efforts of the university.’

It is nice that the university has met some of our issues, but it is not enough.
Marieke Kil, VeSte

The university approved the proposal of the board of directors, but the student council did not. VeSte councillor Marieke Kil: ‘It is nice that the university has met some of our issues, but it is not enough to agree with the proposal.’ The students of the VeSte, S&I and CSF think that 320 euro is too meagre and fear that this will hinder students from becoming board members. ‘The 50 euro extra per month can just be that boost to convince students to become a board member,’ says Marieke.

An arrangement for the Social Science students is also crucial for them. ‘It is a disadvantage for these students compared to students following a master studies that is acknowledged as a two year master. The university saves a lot of money by not compensating the second year of the Social Science master any longer. A concession for these students and a higher compensation for the board students will not be a large assault on the budget.’

A national arbitration board will now take a look at the issue. It is not clear when this meeting will take place. Marieke: ’A great challenge for us as a new student board, but also quite exciting. Luckily we got clear instructions from the previous board and the ex-councillors are still within reach for advice.’

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