January Update

Campus & Sustainability
In the Campus & Sustainability working group, we have mainly been busy initiating new projects recently. One of these is the ‘swap library’; a place where people can lend their books to each other. We are also looking into the possibility of creating lockers on campus that can be used for a longer period (longer than one day), for example for students who have to travel far and have to carry heavy books. Sustainability also plays a major role: a pilot is going to run for the ‘Billie cup’ and in the area of biodiversity plans are also being made, for example for a herb garden. In addition, a number of USC members are working on setting up free menstrual products at various locations on campus. The working group also thinks along about the campus plan and future changes on the campus, such as more liveliness by for example culture and sports playing a more visible role.

Education & IT
The Education & IT working group has sent a memorandum to the Executive Board in which we advocate a “yes -unless” policy for weblectures. Weblectures offer students a great deal of flexibility in their education. This flexibility means that students who have access to weblectures have more opportunities to work in addition to their studies, to do committee, board or co-determination work, and follow internships, for example. At the moment it depends on the choice of study whether a student can make use of this flexibility, which the USR finds objectionable. We have entered into a good discussion with the Executive Board about the importance of equal accessibility of web lectures. The arguments the USR has made will be included in the follow-up talks that will be held around the renewed educational vision, which will be delivered later this year. We are also holding talks with teacher ambassadors from the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) about the possible development and introduction of Small Private Online Courses (SPOCS). SPOCS are extra-curricular online courses of an interdisciplinary and interfaculty nature. SPOCS are a low-threshold form of education in which an overarching theme is examined from various angles

Wellbeing & Inclusion
In the working group Wellbeing & Inclusion we have been focusing on the impact of corona for students. We’ve been monitoring the waiting time for student psychologists & student deans. We are very enthusiastic that students are welcomed back on campus, but at the same time we try to create awareness for the mental impact that corona & lock down has on students. Even though the measures decrease this doesn’t mean that the impact will disappear.The workgroup is also working on a roadmap for internationals. This roadmap will show internationals where to go in different situations. The university doesn’t have a roadmap yet, so we decided to develop one ourselves. We are still in the beginning of this project, but we are looking forward to show you the result.If you have any ideas of initiatives regarding student wellbeing or inclusion of all students please contact: usr@ru.nl

Active Student
The working group active student has had a relatively slow cycle this time. The biggest project that we have been working on is the reviewing for the amount of board months that an association will receive. Furthermore we have been busy with the introduction week. The specifics will follow soon but we are sure that it is gonna be a fun week with an interesting weekend for the people who are interested. 
The last update concerns the boardball, the organization of this ball will no longer be under our  guidance. The Umbrella associations will be responsible for the organization and they have given it their own twist. The ball will be in a big party. For more information about the boardball you gotta contact them! 
Last but not least if there is anything that you want addressed feel free to contact us via: usr@ru.nl

Visibility & Relations
The Visibility & Relations working group has recently been working on the visibility of the University Student Council. We regularly post Fun Fact Fridays or stories on our social media. Last week, for example, we conducted a needs assessment of opinions on menstrual products on campus. The lustrum of the USR is also just around the corner. Keep an eye on our social media for fun activities and actions you can attend. Next to this we’re of course helping the RAGweek raise money for their charities.Last but not least, we are busy renewing our website, where you can find important updates about notes and cycle updates. You will also find more information about the different FSC! Take a look around