Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

ISP wants to join forces with ISOW

ISP wants to join forces with ISOW


Committee members air their opinions

By improving Infopoint, the helpdesk for newly arrived international
students, and organising events like Global Village, the International
Student Panel (ISP) hopes to create opportunities for international
students to get involved in the organisation and running of the academic
and social life in Wageningen. ISP President Marsha Grant (Jamaica) and
members Francis Dake (Ghana) and Athanasios P. Dedousis (Greece) give their
views on possible integration with ISOW, and on the integration of
international and Dutch student activities.

According to Grant the university is seriously trying to help the
international students with their problems and with integration. The voice
of ISP is heard during the foreign student consultations with rector Bert
Speelman.

Wouldn't this voice be more pronounced if ISP became a part of the Student
Council?

Grant: It wouldn't be that relevant for the international students to join
up with the Student Council. The council is very related to the university,
in fact it's actually a branch of it. We have general meetings with people
from the student council, so our voice is being heard.
We also have the Foreign Student consultation, where we meet with the
rector, Bert Speelman. We discuss our issues and so far we’ve had response
and follow-up on what's happening. Professor Speelman is quite open and he
offers us practical solutions. But I do think that ISP has less voice than
the Student Council. I think it would be better if ISP got together with
ISOW.

Why ISOW? Doesn't ISOW focus on the social life, whereas ISP deals with
academic issues?

Grant: The border between ISOW and ISP is not really clear, the lines are
very blurred. People from ISOW come to ISP meetings and we go to ISOW
meetings. I think it would be easier for international students if the two
got together. ISOW is doing very well, and it also helps that they have
their own accommodation. Students would be able to find us more easily if
we joined ISOW. It would create stability and I think we would gain a
bigger voice for
international students.

Dedousis: ISP is not about education only, but also about social things and
career and so on. And we don't want to focus on international students
only, but on how we can make things work for all of us, Dutch students as
well. So we work together with ISOW, WSO, the Student Council and other
student organisations.

What do you think of Dr. Legger’s (coordinator of environmental sciences)
view that international students should become more active because social
life in Wageningen at present largely depends on Dutch students?

Dake: I don't think the problem is that international students don't want
to be involved. In these clubs, like the sports clubs, they speak only
Dutch. You tend to feel rejected. The level of participation of
international students depends on the opportunities to participate.

Dedousis: International students need feedback from the Dutch. But in most
situations the Dutch students probably unconsciously form a barrier. But
I'm motivated to create more opportunities and to create links between the
Dutch and international students. We have a lot in common. I try to
encourage international students to become active in organisations like
Heeren XVII, the student organisation for the technical sciences, where I'm
a member.

Grant: In Wageningen we're working towards it. For example, this year we
will have a joint three-day programme during the introduction week. ISOW,
ISP, WSO the Student Council and so on, we're all involved in the
organisation of the introduction week.

Leonie Mossink

Photo:
From left to right: Marsh Grant, Athanasios P. Dedousis, Irene Hadiprodjo
and Francis Dake.

Photo Guy Ackermans

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