DAG wants to change the RUG

A group of RUG students has founded a new party: the Democratic Academy Groningen (DAG). The party has applied to enter the university elections and is striving for more transparency and more democracy.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The members are very critical of the way things are currently being done at the RUG, according to the party’s manifesto which was provided to the UK. ‘The university has become a business, its rector a top manager with a matching salary, scientists have become research machines and students have been reduced to consumers’, the manifesto says.

In the statement, DAG describes themselves as representing a ‘large group of students that are worried about the RUG’s current policies’. The members also say there is currently no democratic system in place at the university. ‘The real decisions have been made long before the participatory councils ever hear about them. Policy papers are confidential and the media is not allowed to be critical.’

Electrical outlets

The RUG should become transparent, the members say, and central and faculty board members should be elected by employees and students in a democratic election. ‘We want to show that students’ interests don’t end with the amount of electrical outlets in the UB or toilet breaks during exams’, according to the party.

DAG also wants an end to the ‘megalomaniacal’ plans for Yantai, more permanent contracts for instructors and researchers, a critical evaluation of the Anglicisation of education, and they want the position of Dean of Industry Relations to be abolished.


‘We’re still in the early stages of founding the party’, says Jasper Been, one of DAG’s members. ‘The manifesto you have is just an outline, we’re still expanding on it. As soon as it’s finished we’ll come up with a press release’, he says.

The only other thing Been, a board member at DWARS (GroenLinks’ youth organisation), is willing to say is that the party has applied to enter the university elections that will be held in May. Students and employees will be able to elect new members for the University Council, the faculty councils, and the employees’ councils.

In the manifesto, DAG writes that the party is striving for change. ‘Any seats we’ll get will serve to engender a bigger discussion among students. Our main goal, therefore, is informing students and allowing them to join the discussion of why the university exists.’


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