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Getting settled within the Board

Datum:18 december 2017
Conference, Singapore
Conference, Singapore

Hello everyone! My name is Saina and I am the student assessor of the Board of the University. This means that as a student I get to join the Board for a year as their advisor on matters such as student affairs, education, and internationalization. My main tasks towards you, as students, are informing and involving you. Through my blogs and videos, I will try to keep you up to date on important themes within the University of Groningen and give you a look behind the scenes.

First lesson
My function as student assessor started with the opening of the academic year at the fourth of September 2017. The keynote speaker of this yearly ceremony was the CEO of Google Benelux, Pim van der Feltz, who taught me my first lesson as student assessor. During dinner, I was lucky to be seated next to him. While Pim amazed me in the way he handled himself, I was surprised to learn that he did not actually have much knowledge on the technical aspects of Google. He told me he was good at being CEO because of his strength in communicating with people. Especially during those first weeks, I was drowning in all the information I was trying to learn and this was a very good lesson to start my year with.

As student assessor, I have insight into everything the Board is discussing, also regarding confidential matters. For example, during those first weeks, there was some commotion around the University of Groningen concerning international student housing and incidents with student associations. I was present during the meetings where the Board and the Office of the University discussed these matters. The importance of this position is twofold. First, I think it is essential that a student should enjoy full transparency regarding the matters of the University in order to be in a way a controlling body. Furthermore, I think there should always be a student voice involved in the decision-making process of the University.

My tasks are very diverse. Besides the meetings with the Board, I take part in multiple steering groups and advisory committees regarding education, student affairs, and internationalization. A surprising task of being student assessor is being invited to conferences. I joined the ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum in Singapore and together with the President of the Board I went to the U4 Rectors’ Conference in Ghent (Belgium).

I find myself in a unique position within the University and the Board. However, this is a position I cannot carry out alone. I am in constant contact with the student community in order to represent you to the best of my ability. My position provides me with a lot of insight and therefore I see it as my function to inform you on important matters. I hope to carry out this task through my weekly posts. This week (December 20th), I will post an information video about a hot topic currently at our University: the branchcampus Yantai.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or ideas. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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