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110, September 29 2016

12 October 2016

Newsletter 110, U Council - 29 September 2016

This Newsletter is the first one from the newly composed University Council. The editor-members of the student faction are new as a result of the annual elections . The personnel faction is elected every 2 years. The perspective is that of the entire University Council. For specific faction standpoints we refer to the sites and social media channels of the factions.

  • The University Council congratulates Professor Feringa on his Nobel Prize, though obviously this was not known at the time of the meeting.

Response to announcements by the Board

The Board made an announcement at the opening of the meeting causing everyone to sit up and pay attention: Board Chairman Poppema announced, that together with the Hanzehogeschool and the Groningen municipality, to want to do away with hazing and to argue for change in culture among the student associations that engage in hazing. Everyone regrets the incidents of the past few weeks and finds that the use of physical and mental violence during the introduction weeks is inadmissible and must be avoided in future.

Groningen is to be the first hazing-free city . This took all somewhat by surprise in view of the detached attitude of the Board towards recent incidents at the Groningen student association Vindicat Atque Polit. All factions were forced to immediately take up a standpoint. A lot of aping and face-booking went on and in the meantime the faction chairs talked to the media. You were able to follow this all on TV and in the newspapers.   Contrary to the personnel fraction, the science faction and Lijst Sterk Lijst, Calimero and the SOG spoke out against the intention of the Board to abolish hazing by the associations. According to them the decision fails to address the objective of the proposed measures, i.e. preventing practices of violence in future. The Board was called upon to engage in communication with the student associations concerned and together work towards a safe student culture where use of mental and physical violence no longer occurs.

  • There will be an external committee that will screen introduction times of the student associations. The composition of the committee leaves room for a prominent old Vindicater.

One or two people were uncertain, during this tumultuous meeting, about the proposal to abolish hazing.… Was this in itself not a veiled hazing for the new student members? Was this perhaps the inaugural part of the University Council with the objective to separate the motivated students who really want to be part of the Council from those who are not motivated? Apparently, only those who can improvise, who dare to take up a standpoint and who can keep a cool head in times of heightened pressure, are University Council worthy?


Also, Yantai was on the agenda this University Council meeting. We discussed the business case and the risk analysis.
Factions, in various critical speeches emphasised that the quality of education, sufficient support and transparent communication are very important. The fact that many employees have individually indicated that they would want to go to Yantai for a while must not be taken to mean that there is a basis for the idea itself that the RUG must start up a branch campus in Yantai. The Board made it known that each next faculty that is asked to go to Yantai or and/or to make staff available , will follow the same procedure as the current faculties of FWN, RW and MW. After the meeting of 29 September the confidentiality of the business case was lifted, and so you can ask this from the clerk of the university. Please contact
griffier.ur .

Accommodation international students

In the last University Council both the personnel faction and Lijst Calimero have asked several questions about the problems surrounding the accommodation of international students. The personnel faction asked a question about the change-over between the current exchange students and the exchange students arriving in February. The current contracts with exchange students run till 31 January, whereas the first semester runs till 3 February. Exchange students would then have to move to hotels during their final exams to make room for the exchange students who arrive on 1 February. The Board has promised to look into this change-over in collaboration with the SSH. According to the Board the accommodation will change in the long term. An exceptionally large number of applications by international students combined with the closure of a number of old facilities are the Board’s explanation for the shortage of the last month. In future the provision by the SSH will increase and the situation will improve, but the Board reported that this is a process of years and that improvement in the short term is not expected. Not happy with this answer the students pointed out that a majority of students is unable to find accommodation due to other expectations and a lack of communication about the availability of accommodation in the private sector.

Returns from student loan system

Poppema regretted the fact that the money from the student loan system is now ‘parked ‘ at the ministry and that we are dependent on politics with respect to how it is spent. The money was to have gone to the universities, as once agreed. The Board agreed to use it for improving the student/staff ratio at the RUG. The Board had then agreed to use it for the improvement of the student/staff ratio at the RUG. The ministry now has plans to use the money for an OV (student transport) experiment. Poppema says he will not cooperate with the proposal from The Hague to let students travel outside rush hours, to be realised by adapting teaching schedules.

About the

In our newsletters we summarise the issues that are discussed in the last meeting. Welcome to the academic year 2016-2017. We are the University Council; twelve students and twelve employees who work for almost everything that concerns us all. We meet on the third Thursday of each month in three committees:

  • Research and Education,
  • Management, and
  • Facilities,

Followed, a week later, by a public University Council meeting. In these meetings we advise and check the Board and this way we contribute to the policy of the University of Groningen.

The really first newsletter of each academic year – the next one – is sent to all students and employees of the university. If, subsequently, you would like to be kept up to date of our efforts and the university’s policy each month, then, subscribe to this newsletter . Information on the University Council can also be found on our website and via our Twittertwitter account @uraadrug .

Composition University Council 2016-2017

  • The university council consists of 12 students and 12 employees. Last May the elections for the student faction were held and the elected students were officially appointed in the meeting of 1 September. On behalf of the students the following three factions have a seat on the Council:
  • Studenten Organisatie Groningen (SOG) (6 members: Mr. E.K.A. Clark, Mr. A.I. Esser, and Mrs. I.W. Hanemaaijer, Mr. M. de Vries, Mr. B.C. Zandt, Mrs. M. Zuidema),
  • Lijst Calimero (5 members: Mrs. H. Berretz, Mr. D. van Dijk, Mrs. H.H.E. Oelen, Mrs. T. van de Werve, Mrs. N de Winter) and
  • Lijst STERK (member: Mr. P.L. Polhuis).
  • The personnel faction is appointed for two years and its composition is the same as that of 2015-2016.
  • Due to taking up employment elsewhere Mr. M.H. Paapst of the Science faction has resigned his seat.


  • M.C. Huiskes is re-elected as external chairperson of the University Council.
  • The Presidium 2016-2017 consists of: M.C. Huiskes, B.A.A. Beijer, L.W. Gormley, E.K.A. Clark, D. van Dijk and P.L. Polhuis.
  • In addition E.K.A. Clark is appointed as member of the public at the University Committee for Education


-         Do you want to be informed of what goes on in our university and subscribe to or unsubscribe from this newsletter ?

-         Please send questions about the newsletter, or questions/remarks about other issues to uraad . We really appreciate your input!

-         Check us out online

-         University Council: website , twitter

-         Personnel faction: website , twitter , Facebook

-         Academic/science faction: twitter

-         Lijst Calimero: website , twitter , Facebook

-         SOG: website , twitter , Facebook

-         Lijst STERK: website , twitter , Facebook

Last modified:12 October 2016 4.35 p.m.
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