April Update

Campus & Sustainability

The most important thing for Campus & Sustainability the past time was the Campusplan. This is a huge document with a vision and concrete plans about the future of the campus. Some important things for us were the availability of lecture rooms and student housing. We had a fruitful discussion with the Executive Board. Other projects we worked on are stickers on coffee automats with ‘bring your own cup!’, wandering bookcase, menstruation products, walking and sport routes around the campus, rehearsal rooms for cultural associations and many more. We are also going to start a tiny project about wayfinding around the campus, where we can use your input too (and with other things too, ofcourse). Lots of these projects are in the finalization phase, so that is a good and exciting thing coming to the end of this academic year!

Wellbeing & Inclusion

The well-being & inclusion commission went to the Heidag of the project Student Counseling 2023 to see how the project is going. This was a very interesting day where we learned a lot. We are also planning an activity with the Radboud Well-being Ambassadors. These are students who are involved with all sorts of well-being related activities. In the last cycle of this year we try to look further into the policies regarding refugees at Radboud.

Last month, the visibility and relations working group worked on USC’s visibility on campus. For example, we handed out coffee and tea to students, with a small cake to go with it. In this way we started the conversation about what students would like to see at university and what they actually think is very good! In addition, the new logo of USC was announced last month. It is a mix of lecture banks, parliament and the Radboud logo. After all, the University Student Council consists of students who make their voices heard for fellow students during meetings with the Executive Board. And occasionally visit a lecture. And of course we thought that the Radboud logo could not be missing!

Visibility & Relations

Last month, the visibility and relations working group worked on USC’s visibility on campus. For example, we handed out coffee and tea to students, with a small cake to go with it. In this way we started the conversation about what students would like to see at university and what they actually think is very good! In addition, the new logo of USC was announced last month. It is a mix of lecture banks, parliament and the Radboud logo. After all, the University Student Council consists of students who make their voices heard for fellow students during meetings with the Executive Board. And occasionally visit a lecture. And of course we thought that the Radboud logo could not be missing!

Active Student

The working group Active Student has been busy monitoring a verity of projects including but not limited to vacatiegelden, day of the active student and active student video’s. That last one is interesting since the university is still looking for people who want to be filmed for these videos, If you are interested send us a email and we will put you in contact whit the right people. It has been a slow cycle for this working group hopefully we have more news in the next update round.

Education & IT

Education & IT workgroup has worked on a couple of topics this month. We’ve had an interesting conversation with Education Design & Support in which we discussed some projects we’ve been working on, such as Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), and future collaboration between our departments. We also discussed some best practices about hybrid education and decided to work together on gathering input from students about hybrid education during the impact week. If you have any comments or experiences you would like to share, you can contact us at usr@ru.nl! Beside that we’ve been giving feedback additional exam software and are trying to find ways to abate the bottlenecks regarding interfaculty education.

March Update

Campus and Sustainability

The past few months for our working group has been in the light of the campusplan. The piece is on the agenda this cycle so that is kind of our main focus. We also discussed some environment-nature related topics, like a naturecouncil. We re-evaluated the focus points and are going to look a bit more into signs related finding your way around the campus and workplaces. The pilot for menstruationproducts will start soon and the tiny swap library is going to be placed. For the next weeks, we will get updated about some of our running projects (lockets, etc) and look further into that.

Education and ICT

This cycle the Education & IT working group has been working on and investigating a couple new projects. These include: a look at the national flex studying pilot, which allows students to pay per EC, rather than a full tuition fee. The evaluation of the pilot was very positive and we’ve talked with policy workers about how this could be applied to the Radboud University. It seems likely that it will be integrated within the current ‘flexible studying’ facilities the RU already provides. Furthermore, we’ve looked at a privacy proof cloud storage system for study associations.

Wellbeing and Inclusion

The well-being and inclusion working group has been working on making a concrete roadmap for internationals. So that they can easily see where they can go when they face a certain problem.

In addition, we have been working on a pilot which will start soon. During the pilot, the university will provide free menstrual products for students who have little or no money for such products. The free products will be provided at various locations around the university.

During the following weeks, we will also take a critical look at the evaluation of the project Student Counseling 2023. The evaluation will be discussed during the joint meeting this cycle.

Active Student

This cycle the working group Active Student has been busy whit a couple of things, first off we have been working on the “kwaliteitsafspraken” this is the money that got released because of the implementation of the “leenstelsel”. The government is going to invest this freed up money in our education, and because it is our money we as students have a say in where, and how this money can be spent. FSC’s are mostly responsible for how this money is spent. We as the USC have been trying to streamline the process so that this money is spent on projects that need it, and the voice of the students is heard in this process and not just a rubber stamp at the end. Furthermore, we have been working on the storage of data from study associations. Whit the switch to Microsoft Teams, it has been proposed that study associations can put their data in a protected environment. We have been helping in making this a smooth transition. 

Visibility & Relations

Last month, the V&R working group did their best for the participation gala. The invitations have been sent out, the DJ has been arranged and there will be a photographer. We are really looking forward to it, are you?

Besides the gala, the planning of the Lustrum was also on the agenda. After a lot of brainstorming there is now a nice schedule with many activities, more will be announced soon. Finally, the USC website has been completely renewed and updated. Here you can now find all the FSC’s, our focus points and our updates. Take a look around!

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

November Update

Working group: Campus and Sustainability

The campus and sustainability working group has been busy in recent months. The main themes are to make the campus greener and more sustainable. Important topics include planting greenery in the area in front of Linneaus, creating more biodiversity, offering more vegetarian options in the buildings, recycling mugs, better separation of waste and circularity. What also plays a role are study workplaces; there is more of a desire for ‘zoom’ cubicles on campus and the change of the workplaces at all. Lecture halls are also examined in this regard. We also participate in discussions about the campus plan; this is discussed with us where our ideas are most welcome. An example of this is a pilot that will soon start on the longer use of lockers (think of ~72 hours) and a ‘roam’ library. In addition, we would also like to see the campus more lively; with more space for culture and sport. There are also many conversations about this. Fortunately, many policy workers are very cooperative and just as enthusiastic as we are!

Working group: Education and ICT

Over the past period, the Education & ICT working group has mainly been working on the design of education during and after the pandemic. The transition to a more digital learning environment must be managed in the right direction. Hereby we listen to the experiences of students. In this context, we have also sent a memorandum to the Executive Board (CvB) with great urgency. The memorandum was prompted by the worrying noises we heard from students who were encouraged to come to the university to take their exams, even with corona-related complaints. This is worrying because either students do not take the exam and register for the resit, or students are still expected to take the exam. Both choices in themselves have a huge negative impact on the students. Think of study delay, but also the feeling of insecurity that is created for other students. In the memorandum, we request the Executive Board to offer alternatives to physical exams at least until the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition, the working group has been busy providing input for the new educational vision and we are discussing setting up innovative forms of interdisciplinary education with employees.

Working group: Wellbeing and Inclusion

In the Welfare & Inclusion working group, we spent the first few months mainly surveying the ongoing projects. Within our working group, a subgroup focusing on the welfare and inclusion of international students was quickly formed. Improving the position of this group of students will also be one of the focus points of this working group this year. Other topics we are working on include the identity of the university, project student support 2023, visibility of the confidants and the aftermath of corona. In addition, we have been talking to various staff members who are knowledgeable about wellness and diversity at our university. We hope that this year we can do our bit for the well-being of all students at Radboud University. We would like to do this by getting involved with large structural issues, but also by smaller deeds such as handing out a free cup of coffee and offering a listening ear.

Working group: Active Student

As was the case in previous years, the Active Student Working Group is once again committed to recognizing, raising awareness of and encouraging active student life. We are doing this through many projects. In the first policy cycle we started working on the contents of the introduction week since the “corona edition” has taught us a lot. We are working on the good things to take with us for when we can hold the introduction week again as usual. Furthermore, our members have been present at the master fair and the master open day, to talk about the active student life and what you can do next to your studies. These are just two of many projects that we are working on this year. If you have any questions or encounter problems related to the active student life do not hesitate to contact us!

Working group: Visibility & Relations

In the past weeks this work group was mostly busy with planning a reception for the University Student Council, which now unfortunately had to be cancelled again due to COVID. Also other future activities are influenced by this uncertainty, which is very unfortunate. Nevertheless are we trying to be visible and show every student what we are working on. By uploading posts on LinkedIn, Instagram and facebook we promote events that are relevant for students and inform about the projects we are busy with. We are glad about all the input we get from students from all different channels. That way we can make sure to address your concerns and we know what to work on.

In the future we hope to connect again on campus with you through events like the student participation day, Radboud XL or small coffee stands where you can come by and let us know about your opinion. Until then connect with us via our socials either on Instagram, facebook or LinkedIn.

Cyclus update!

Consultation meeting UGV/OR/USR with Executive Board, March 22nd, 2021

In this update, the USR dwells on the main points that were identified during the Consultative Meeting. In the Consultative Meeting, the Works Council (OR) and the University Student Council (USR) enter into discussion with the Executive Board (CvB). The agenda included the follow-up memorandum on Proctorio and the User-Owner Model (GEM), with the first topic dominating the discussion. 

This meeting was also the last one with the current composition of the Executive Board: vice-chair Wilma de Koning became general director of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) on June 1. Daan Willems, president of the USR, thanked Ms. De Koning on behalf of the UGV for her commitment to Radboud University in recent years and wished her good luck in her new job.

Proctorio

An eventful cycle in which the predominant vote was Proctorio. Last cycle the UGV was allowed to vote on the framework for the deployment of Proctorio. In preparation, the UGV was allowed to ask the rector and a number of policy staff questions about the documents provided during a committee meeting earlier in the month. During the Consultation Meeting, the emphasis is more on policy questions. For the UGV, a number of issues were not yet (sufficiently) clear, for example, on what exactly we had to agree to: is the use of Proctorio only possible in individual cases or should it be used on a large scale? In addition, the timeline for the Faculty Joint Meeting (FGV) was not sufficiently elaborated. Given that the FGV is responsible for the actual granting of Proctorio and they also have to agree to including Proctorio in the OER, it is important that this is clear beforehand. In addition, the question of whether lecturers/examination boards were actually using Proctorio as a last resort could, in the opinion of the majority of the UGV, not be sufficiently answered. 

On the basis of the documents provided and the discussion during the Consultation Meeting, the UGV was not sufficiently convinced that Proctorio serves a legitimate interest. That is why a small majority of the UGV voted against the use of Proctorio on Monday, March 29. More information? Then click here.

User-Owner Model (GEM)

Due to the extensive discussion on Proctorio, only written responses to the UGV’s questions on the GEM have been received. The GEM is primarily about the distribution of housing costs. The objectives are (1) efficient operation of the buildings on campus, (2) sustainable and optimal use of the buildings on campus and (3) common burden sharing. During the preparatory committee meeting, questions were asked about any adverse effects on working and teaching spaces. The document was now before the GV for information only. The final version will be discussed in June, including our input.