From the 13th till the 17th of May it’s election time for students in Groningen again! We realize that this whole university election fuzz is all a bit vague, therefore we visited the board of all student organizations running for council this year. Today, we talked to Lijst Calimero. These guys are in the running for 14 years now, so enough ideas to change the future of the university, we would say. Let’s hear about it.
Hi guys, the elections are almost gonna start. How is the campaign going so far?
Pretty well! Everyone is very excited and we’re a great team, so we’re ready to rumble! We’ve got a lot of new bullet points this year, but we’re also still working on the ideas the former boards have made.
So why would we vote Lijst Calimero? What are your main points of concern?
Well, we have a whole list of points we want to work on, but these are very important to us:
- Wellbeing of the students
We’re very much aware of the fact that more and more students are experiencing a lot of stress these days. Finishing your studies and in the meantime joining committees, boards, study associations, sports, working, and so on and so forth. We want to help you guys out by making it easier for you to do extra-curricular activities and getting rewarded for it from within the university. We would like to see that the university starts assigning extra-curricular ECT’s to extracurricular activities like joining a
board,because these are really important activities in which you’ll develop skills you do not learn in university. By assigning ECT’s to it, the university shows that it supports and rewards these forms of personal development.
This could be major projects, like changing the way university buildings are constructed, but also minor steps can make a huge difference. Think for example about the coffee-discount you get in most university canteens nowadays when bringing your own cup. We think both approaches, both big and small steps, are very important to make the university more sustainable.
We work very hard to make sure all students feel at home at our university, also student suffering from a functional impairment. This could really be anything: making sure all essential information about the university is available in proper English for the internationals, providing sufficient help for students with dyslexia or offering courses in sign language. In this last way, students who are interested can help making the university more inclusive for everybody. In the long term these students also contribute to a more inclusive society in general.
We believe it’s very important to let different studies cooperate, so students can learn from each other’s skills and strengthen each other. Think for example about interdisciplinary minor courses or interdisciplinary learning communities. In these educational communities students with different backgrounds can work together on a major, interdisciplinary problem and combine forces to make it to a great solution.
What are your goals for next year?
There are many things which are really easy to realise, but which are still not implemented. Think for example about opening the basement under the UB for parking your bike. These are things which can easily be fixed, but it needs to be done. But of course we also keep working to realise our long-term goals.
The university elections are not particularly well-known among students. Why should we actually vote?
As a student, it’s very important to raise your voice within the university. In that way, the RUG gets a better impression about what students want and like. This democratic participation of students is something we really need to hold on to, whether on faculty-or university level. In this way, we can guarantee that the university meets the demands of the students. So I would say: inform yourself about which party suits you best and raise your voice via a vote.