Group update: april

Every month we will share an update from the group on the website. In this update, the group explains what projects and conversations we are working on within the USC, what issues have been raised in the Joint Assembly and what the opinion of asap is.

XIth fraction of asap

The past April cycle and the accompanying GV contained a few very interesting topics: the long-awaited campus plan and our memorandum on social safety. This was also the first physical cycle in two years. Beside the cycle we also have two updates on important points for asap: good quality workspaces and the real freedom of choice. We’re looking forward to a very busy month with a lot of topics coming up in the next cycle and, of course, the ELECTIONS!

Campusplan

This cycle the long-awaited campusplan was finally presented to the co-participation.This exciting but detailed and lengthy document contains the broad outline of major changes that are planned to take place on campus. To name a few: the Spinoza and Linneaus building will be demolished. On the opened-up space of the Spinoza building, a new building will be built in which the arts and theology faculties will reside. The Linnaeus area will make place for a new ‘middle section’ of the Huygens gebouw. Furthermore in due time the Lecture hall centre (Dutch: collegezalen complex) will be demolished, the Heyendaalseweg will mostly be car-free and the aim of the university to be climate neutral in 2050 has been put forward to 2040!

The most concerns for the USC pertained to the availability of good quality campus education during the time in between the demolition and realization of the new buildings: in the campus plan it was stated that online lectures were an alternative. After a fruitful conversation with the Executive Board the shared aim was pronounced to not have online lectures as a solution for lack of lecture hall space. Instead, the university will make use of location within the city center, such as ‘De Vereeniging’  as an alternative.

Social Safety

A campus and student life in which people feel safe, respected, and heard has always been very important to the University Student Council (USC). Knowing and feeling that one is protected against undesirable behaviour as a result of human actions within or in connection to the university is paramount. In February the USC wrote a memorandum to tackle this issue. In this memorandum, we sketch the current situation and make recommendations for the university to improve on. These recommendations include, but are not limited to, having yearly surveys to monitor the state of social safety and instating a social safety coordinator and ombudsman for students.  This cycle we discussed the social safety memorandum with the executive board, who have shown commitment to improve social safety and will put almost all of our suggestions into place!. The only suggestion which is postponed for now is to have an external party look at the complaint procedure and that is because there haven’t been any complaints yet. We will receive a more detailed time plan in May, so the timeframe of implementation will then also be clear. All in all we see this as a good first step to improve social safety

Zoom workplaces

Since the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of lectures, working groups and other meetings have been online. Not all students have the possibility to join those from home, either because their rooms are too small, the internet not good enough, or simply because they also have classes on campus again and not enough time to travel. To solve this issue, the university, on input of the USC, is developing zoom workplaces in the library. At these work places, students will be able to join zoom meetings and classes while still being on campus. The current idea is to have noise cancelling headphones and good microphones that filter out background noise, so that even if multiple students are having meetings, you do not get in each others way. Furthermore some screens will be put up so you have a clean background and have some privacy in your meetings. These zoom spaces will be a prototype and are expected to be done in September, after that the usage will be monitored and evaluated in which the future university student council will hopefully be involved.

Differences in elective spaces

Every faculty at Radboud University has a different system for filling in the elective space. For example, the choices in minors and the possibilities in interfaculty education vary enormously. Students find this confusing and sometimes do not know what they can choose as electives. That is why a meeting was held with the responsible persons per faculty to map out the differences. As a result, we would like to start with more clarity in the information supply of interfaculty education. For example, a central guide that indicates for all programmes which subjects can be taken could be the solution.