The Student Council elections are coming round again. Between 29 May and 1 June you can help decide who will defend your interests on the Student Council from September. Get to know the three parties and their candidates.
High quality education, sustainability and an international organization are the key issues for Sustainability & Internationalization (S&I). Last year S&I approached the executive board with proposals by various student organizations. On the initiative of Fossil Free Wageningen, the party looked for possibilities for the university to switch to a sustainable bank.
S&I is in favour of English-taught BSc programmes, but emphasizes that there is more to them than just introducing English. Teachers need to realise that building good communication between students from different cultures takes time. For this reason, the work pressure should not be too big, especially at the start.
S&I will do some research next year on depression among students, prompted by a few suicide attempts and concern among students. The party also wants to contribute to better preparation of international students for their arrival in Wageningen. They should have some idea beforehand of what group work entails here, and how they can build up a social network.
The party has an open meeting every Monday, at which all are welcome.
United Students (VeSte) represents students with an active student life. Long breaks and evenings off are important to personal development, so the party is actively engaged in discussions about evening lectures and a new timetable. VeSte does not want shortened lunch hours, for instance.
On the insistence of the party, the course evaluation system EvaSys was replaced last year by PaCE. Filling in the evaluation doesn’t take as long now, and it is nicer to do. VeSte is also involved in the plans for renovating the Forum library, adding 170 work stations. One disappointment last year was WUR’s decision not to waive tuition fees for students joining a board for a year.
In the coming period VeSte will be studying the introduction of English-taught Bachelor’s degrees. The party feels that September 2018 is too soon to launch a pilot with five programmes. Their reasoning is that it is important for international students to be able to integrate well and that needs to be facilitated better, for example with a student society with an international social network. What is more, the standard of English among teachers and in the course material must be up to scratch.
Members of VeSte also run training courses for students, on how to run effective meetings, for instance.
The Christian Students’ Party (CSF) believes all students should be treated equally and fairly, and should be educated to be critical. The party is open to students from different backgrounds.
One of the CSF’s biggest achievements last year was the new refugee policy at the university. The CSF asked the executive board what WUR is doing for refugees who want to study. The board responded with the plan to offer an additional five refugees per year a place on a degree course, to donate 5000 euros a year to the Refugee Students’ Foundation (UAF), and to create positions for two refugee researchers. It was a big blow to the CSF that it only got one seat in the last elections.
With the impending introduction of a new timetable, the CSF wants to draw attention to the problems for students living at home, who benefit from having classes timetabled consecutively rather than spread out. In the debate about growth, the CSF will argue the case for preserving the small scale of Wageningen teaching, with short communication lines between students and teachers as a key feature. The CSF would also like to see more classes on ethics in the degree programmes.