Because the Academic Building is not on route for most students and we understand that not everyone enjoys spending three and a half hours in a meeting, we decided to write you a small summary of what we discussed in the meeting. Last Monday, February 4th, we had a meeting with the University Board (College van Bestuur, CvB), the Employee Council (Ondernemersraad, OR) and ourselves, the USC. This meeting is called the Joint Assembly (JA, also see title of this article). In short, we discussed the following things.
First, and maybe most often mentioned in the media, was the language policy document. It states that every new, first-year student should do a language test when they start a bachelors’ at our university. The board stated explicitly that the goal is not to teach spelling, but to test the academic language level. What exactly that entails, was not entirely clear yet. Also, the consequences of not passing the test are also still being discussed within Berchmanianum (the building behind Erasmus, where all policies come into making), so to be continued… Our point of view: it shouldn’t become another things students have to do; there is enough on their plates already.
We also discussed student organizations and internationalization: a lot of organizations are trying to become more international, but it is simply not so easy. Most don’t know where to start and what works and what does not. Therefore, we will keep working on getting more help from the university on this subject.
We also started a discussion on the board certificate. This is a certificate that board members can get if they do a board year here, according to the studentenstatuut. If you are currently doing a board and are thinking “huh, I never heard of that,” then you are definitely not the only one. The university board has promised to make sure that students can apply for the certificate again. That this is a possibility will be included in the email to new board members every year.
As always, we discussed sustainability and the green campus; from (non-)recyclable coffee cups to water tap points, it all passed the revue. If you have a good, green idea, come to us or the Green Office. We can both be found in TvA1.
We should not forget to mention that the results of the research on the effects of the BSA are public. As a reaction to that, we wrote a note on how we would like to change the BSA. Our note and the results of the research project will be taken into account to form a new vision on the BSA.
We also discussed the preliminary evaluation of the pilot Flexible Studying (no English link available :( ). In this pilot, students having a child, doing top level sports or doing a board year, can get more flexibility in their education. This way, it should be more manageable to combine these things. This is great, but it turns out that it is not working on every faculty as well as one would hope. From the evaluation, several points emerged on how to improve on this. We hope that these things will be improved upon in the remaining year and a half of the pilot.
In short, this was what we discussed with the university board. Of course, many more items were discussed, but it won’t make this article more manageable if we discuss them all. If you want to know more, you can find everything on RadboudNet. Or you can come visit us in TvA1 at our USC-room