News - December 10, 2009

Only one week of Christmas holidays

'One week of Christmas holidays?' a student cried out in surprise. 'And next year too? That sucks.' The Wageningen Student Organization and the Student Council organized a lobby for signatures on Tuesday 8 December for one more week of Christmas holidays.

Dressed up as Santa Claus, members of WSO and the Student Council lobbied for signatures for a longer Christmas holiday period.
With Christmas hats on their heads, the protestors walked about the Forum to request for signatures. They attracted many curious reactions and much support. 'Enough of your children after just one week?' a student wrote on a pamphlet to the rector, Martin Kropff. Within two hours, the WSO and the Student Council had collected more than a thousand signatures.
'Unlike all other Dutch universities, students in Wageningen are given only one week of Christmas holidays this year and the next', says Julie-Anne Tangena of the Student Council.  'In return, we will get an extra week of summer holidays.' She says that most students, however, don't really need that. 'They would prefer one more week of Christmas holidays. In particular, international students could use a week's extra time to visit their families overseas during the festive period.'
No vacation
The Student Council had already alerted the rector last year to this problem. 'We were then assured that this wouldn't happen. With our petition, we are trying to bring a message across', adds Julie-Anne. The WSO and the Student Council repeated the signature lobby on Wednesday 9 December at the Leeuwenborch.
Spokesman for the Executive Board, Simon Vink, responds: 'Unlike in higher applied education, the university doesn't use the term holidays. We call these term breaks. We make these breaks known way in advance so that students and employees can plan their holidays. We do, however, sympathize with the situation of international students. If they encounter problems, we will seriously review the issue.