Group update May

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Each month we will share an update from the group on the website. In these updates, the group tells what is going on in the USR, what issues have come up in the Joint Assembly and what the opinion of asap is.

The campaign is now in full swing, the new list candidates have introduced themselves and the new election program has been presented. For the current group this is a good moment to look back on the past months and see what goals and plans have been achieved. In this update we will highlight a number of points which have been achieved or started this year per USC working group.

Education and ICT

Education has changed considerably this year and various forms of online and hybrid education have been reviewed. On the initiative of asap, a survey was conducted among the FSCs to see where improvements and learning points lay. The survey also looked at which parts of the online education were satisfactory. In various work and project groups we (within the USC) were able to give feedback on the digitalisation of education, for example on the quality of Brightspace, digital testing in the Comenius building and the Virtual Desktop.

During the corona crisis many students have experienced problems in the areas of welfare and motivation. For the members of the USC enough reasons to take another critical look at the BSA. Partly thanks to the input of the USC, the BSA has been generically reduced by 6.5 EC. This also applies to current second-year students with a BSA. As asap we are very happy that this has been achieved. At the moment there are also discussions within the faculty and central council about the interpretation of the soft/flexible cut. Students who have not yet passed all courses for their bachelor’s degree can, under certain conditions, still start their master’s degree. The possibility also exists to allow the soft cut for the February intake and we will argue for this. After all, students have experienced a year of problems and possible delay, so it would be a good compensation.

In the working group Education & ICT a memorandum has been written to promote interfaculty education – taking courses at another faculty. In particular, attention was drawn to extra facilities in the case of overlapping examinations, better information and the creation of a clearer overview of the courses on offer.

As a party we want students to be able to do as many things as possible in addition to their studies when they want to. Flexibility in education is a precondition for this. In the current educational climate it has become normal for education to be online and for web lectures to be offered to all students. That is why we as USR have written a memorandum that argues in favour of continuing to do so even after the corona crisis, so that students can look back in their own time and at their own pace.  

This year Jasper and Jasmijn (AKKUraatd) have been particularly busy with the quality agreements. We are looking for possibilities to make it more visible for students. We also gave the FSCs some pointers on what they should pay attention to when formulating objectives and at the end of the year we will write a reflection on this year’s process. At the end of the year we will write a reflection on this year’s process, including the involvement of students and the extent to which the objectives have been achieved.

Active student
In an academic year where we were mostly in a lockdown, it is good to look at what is still possible in the field of active student life. This year, together with asap and the CODC and NSSR volunteers, we looked at the various possibilities of the culture card and a possible campus card (sports, culture and student card in one) to further promote cultural activities. The policy officers concerned reacted positively to this and a newly established Sport and Culture working group is working on the details. At the moment there are also discussions within the faculty and central co-determination about the interpretation of the soft/flexible cut-off. Students who have not yet passed all courses for their bachelor’s degree can, under certain conditions, still start their master’s degree. The possibility also exists to allow the soft cut for the February intake and we will argue for this. After all, students have experienced a year of problems and possible delay, so it would be a good compensation.

In the working group Education & ICT a memorandum has been written to promote interfaculty education – taking courses at another faculty. In particular, attention was drawn to extra facilities in the case of overlapping examinations, better information and the creation of a clearer overview of the courses on offer.

As a party we want students to be able to do as many things as possible in addition to their studies when they want to. Flexibility in education is a precondition for this. In the current educational climate it has become normal for education to be online and for web lectures to be offered to all students. That is why we as USC have written a memorandum that argues in favour of continuing to do so even after the corona crisis, so that students can look back lectures in their own time and at their own pace.

This year Jasper and Jasmijn (AKKUraatd) have been particularly busy with the quality agreements. We are looking for possibilities to make it more visible for students. We also gave the FSC’s several handles on what they should pay attention to when formulating objectives and at the end of the year we will write a reflection on this year’s process. At the end of the year we will write a reflection on this year’s process, including the involvement of students and the extent to which the objectives have been achieved.

Active student
In an academic year where we were mostly in a lockdown, it is good to look at what is still possible in the field of active student life. This year, together with asap and the CODC and NSSR volunteers, we looked at the various possibilities of the culture card and a possible campus card (sports, culture and student card in one) to further promote cultural activities. The policy officers concerned reacted positively to this and a newly established Sport and Culture working group is working on the details. At the moment, a cost estimate is being drawn up.

In the beginning of this year, there were difficulties for the cultural associations concerning the rent for rehearsal rooms. Often these associations practised for free in halls that the municipalities made available, but the municipality decided to ask for money for this . Meanwhile, there are temporary rehearsal rooms in Spinoza for the next 2-5 years. asap will continue to argue for more possibilities for spaces on campus, but for now we are happy with this (temporary) solution!

To further promote active student life, an ambitious plan to activate, stimulate and inform students about active student life in Nijmegen has been drawn up by the USC. This will be a campaign that will also include some recognition of the active student. The idea of organising a kind of introduction market halfway through the year, where associations are given another opportunity to present themselves, is also included in this. Every year a number of associations are tested to see if they have the right number of board months. This year it was the student associations’ turn. The review committee consists of a number of USR members and other involved students (such as Lara Mascini, former secretary of asap). As workgroup, we think that the process can be more transparent and orderly and we will therefore gladly think along about this so that each association gets a fair compensation for the work that they do.

We also looked at fair compensation for the participation councils this year. The USC believes that participation members should receive attendance fees to compensate them for the number of hours they spend preparing for the (formal) meetings and, of course, the meeting itself. This is also customary at other universities. At the moment the university is doing a benchmark. We hope to be able to close the vacancy fund this year so that the participation council members of next academic year can still benefit from it. 

Welfare and Inclusion
The USC has once again run a Welfare and Inclusion working group this year. The working group actively tackled the questions surrounding student welfare and diversity at Radboud University. At the beginning of the year, we were surprised with the ambitious project Student Welfare 2023 that our university has started this year. In our previous group updates, we have already discussed this. We regularly invited the project leader and coordinator of student welfare for an update, but this also gave us the opportunity to contribute ideas to this project in an informal way. These conversations were therefore very fruitful because the student voice was directly included in the policy. This is where you really saw the added value of a working group. In addition, the working group has played an active role in making Radboud University truly inclusive. Several members have played a role in organising the Anti Racism Awareness week. Also, together with the Diversity Officer of the Radboud University, the group has made a start with the Safe Space conversations; during these meetings students can discuss diversity, inclusion, social safety and racism in a confidential atmosphere. Although in this working group it was sometimes very difficult to come up with concrete ideas for very difficult issues, we look back on a fruitful year where real steps have been taken to make Radboud University a little better for the student.

Campus and Sustainability
In the past months we have been working on several projects in the working group Campus and Sustainability. At the beginning of the year, we were able to realise that the university has placed a glass container at the Ondergang and the Refter to reduce glass waste at the university. After the corona crisis, we will see if this is successful and possibly place glass containers in other places. We then entered into a dialogue with the university about the food supply at the university. We agreed that the university would continue to take steps to reduce the consumption of fatty and meat products. The price of meat products will possibly be raised and the supply of vegetarian and vegan food will continue to increase, at the expense of meat products. This is in order to give students a healthy and responsible lifestyle and to contribute to a lower consumption of meat. Finally, a sustainability sounding board group is currently being set up. This sounding board group will provide the university with input on how to make the campus more sustainable and will put practical problems on the agenda, so that the university becomes more sustainable more and more quickly. 

In addition to sustainability, the working group has also been concerned with the campus. After the working group’s insistence, the university decided to set up a committee which will take care of the problems within sport and culture on the campus. These include more space for culture and a solution to the capacity problem of the sports centre. The working group also remains closely involved in the development of the annual campus plan. The working group continues to provide input to the university on sustainability measures to be taken, the layout of the campus and the renovation of various buildings on the campus.

A long update that does not mention all the goals we have achieved. In the next group update we will discuss the others! If you have any questions and/or remarks after reading the update, please send an email to fractie@asapnijmegen.nl or contact one of the group members personally.

Jasper, Rick, Jesse and Joris – Group asap 2020-2021