Dear all, The time has already come for a new U-Council update! November for us was a cheerful weekend to Dublin, a whole lot of Yantai and of course putting work into our memo's. More info about our initiatives will follow soon! For now, enjoy reading our new update!
Last thursday, the first of discuission took place in the U-council. The discussion has been going on for already two years, and now has entered the new phase. Different departments of the Bureau of the RUG have taken part in this discussion by answering a lot of questions that were asked by the Yantai Committee, a delegation of the personnel faction, science faction, SOG and Calimero. We are very pleased to see that finally better answers and more clarity have been given on the subject of Yantai. More attention and money have been spent on the quality assurance of the education, which was needed in order to properly realize the project. We are just not there yet. There is still a lot of work needed to be done on the renewed risk analyses and exit strategies.
We trust the University and her approach and think that the points mentioned before will be answered in a sufficient way, thus further increasing our confidence. A hypothetical project like Yantai will always bring along risks, foreseen and unforeseen. We believe that students in Groningen will, in the end, benefit from taking the risks that lie ahead of us.
Do you want to know more about Yantai? Do not hesitate to contact us or visit our renewed website!
Advice Committee Introduction periods
During this month's U-council we discussed, among other topics, the annual report on the ACI (Advice Committee Introduction periods). SOG is happy to report that 51 associations have reported their safety plans to RUG to get them checked. This will lead to safer introduction periods while still maintaining the typical student traditions Groningen treasures.
Besides the good news, we also have some alarming news. Failure of ACI to report the feedback to a student association too late has led to the ACI giving the association green light on continuing the introduction period without implementation of the given feedback. SOG does not approve of the way things have gone. Therefore, we have given the CvB advice to re-check the composition of the ACI and the way they operate.
International student housing
As some of you may have heard, at the beginning of this scholastic year, a great number of internationals came to Groningen where they found themselves unable to find accommodation. This led to a considerable amount of them withdrawing from the University. We believe that this is a great issue as the University should take responsibility for providing enough housing for its students. Because of this we attended last week a meeting organized by De Groninger Studentenbond where we sat down together with representatives from Calimero and DAG to discuss the problem of international student housing. We discussed the origin of the problem at length in order to get a better overview of the issue as a whole. The meeting was very productive as we all got on the same page and were able to exchange information and ideas with each other.
The results of this discussion were seen at the University Council on the 23rd of November where we brought up an issue that had been brought up during last weeks meeting. At the moment the section regarding Accommodations on the RUG website does not portray the current situation accurately and may be the reason so many internationals start looking for accommodations far too late. Phrasing such as “Applying early will increase the possibility of finding a room that suits your personal preference” gives the impression that finding accommodation is not particularly difficult and that it is only necessary to start looking early if you have particular preferences.
We therefore urged the board to look over the current description and were as a result invited to help the university to rewrite the accommodations section to more accurately describe the current situation. While this is only a small step towards resolving the problem, it is an important one. Prospective students need to be completely informed about the current state of housing and we believe this to be a step in the right direction.