Student party SOG is worried
‘This is our cry for help. Don’t forget about us!’
During the last university council meeting, you said that the university needs to put more stock into the students’ perspective. What did you mean by that?
‘Right now, so many students are feeling lonely, or are having financial issues. Informal conversations tell us that a lot of students are having trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that each faculty has different policies, for instance when it comes to testing. Some students have trouble focusing right now, or they don’t have the necessary facilities for it at home, like internet or a good laptop. We’re worried about them.’
What can the UG board do to help?
‘What we’re seeing in this crisis is that the board of directors determines policy before submitting it to the relevant parties. We’d like them to consider the potential effects of policy on students in an earlier stage. The pride in and appreciation of lecturers in this time is certainly justified: they’re doing amazing work. But we feel like students aren’t being appreciated as much.’
How should the board show its appreciation for students?
‘They need to take the students’ situation into account even more than they do now. The morning of the university council meeting, NRC published a piece by these Amsterdam lecturers who spoke up for the students’ interests. The board could play a more active role, by addressing the issues with the minister of Education, for example.’
Is there anything else that would help out the students at this time?
‘When the crisis started, we asked if there was any room in the budget to provide students with computers if they didn’t have one themselves, or if there were any spare laptops they could borrow. This is something staff members have access to, so why not expand it to students? SOG is also involved in the ‘Students for the City’ project, in which students help out people in need. Maybe we should set up a ‘Students for Students’ initiative.’
How did the UG board respond?
‘I think they got the message, although we’re not sure what, if anything, they’ll do with it. This is a cry for help: this is what it’s like for students, please don’t forget about us! I hope it works.’