Student - February 2, 2015

Competition puts student interests back on the agenda

For two years now, Wageningen has lacked a students’ union to stand up for students’ interests. But ex-board members of the former WSO are still hoping for a new initiative. They are offering up to 1000 euros for the best idea for giving new impetus to support for students’ interests.

Nico Claassens was once an active member of WSO and is now on the board of the Arion Foundation, which is responsible for the student union’s legacy. ‘So much is going on at the moment. Student grants are being abolished and everyone in Wageningen is just sitting back and watching it happen. Who is going to keep an overview of the developments here?’ In 2012 the Wageningen Student Organization (WSO) went under. The organization had been limping along for some years already. But there was a time when you couldn’t avoid WSO. Nico: ‘In WSO’s golden years, everyone in Wageningen was a member.’ Yet the initiators of the competition are not necessarily looking for a new union. Nico: ‘The WSO was old fashioned and many students no longer felt at home in it. Now we are keen to stimulate a new form of student activism. We don’t know ourselves exactly what that will look like, so we have deliberately left the question as open as possible. Do you have an idea for standing up for students? Let us know; we are very curious.’ The Students4Students Award 2015 offers a prize of up to €1000 for the best idea in areas such as quality of education, sustainability or academic training. Any student can have a go. The deadline is 21 February.