Student Elections Update:
Chatting with the CSR parties
By JOSEPHINE SYLVESTRE and SARAH IACOBACCI | May 21, 2019
This is part 2 of the series on talking to the parties running for the student elections this year. This time, we talked to Inter.
1. What are you promising for this academic year?
The party promises that there will be “changes in the university on the subject of sustainability; making sure that paper, food and water wastage are reduced to a minimum.” In addition, they are also planning to focus on the opinions and complaints of the students to the best of their abilities.
2. What’s your top priority?
Inter’s top priority is the quality of education. “Some of the focal points of our party in respect to quality maintenance include preventing the inorganic growth of the university, increasing teacher professionalism, finding ways to ensure that students coming to the UvA demonstrate high degrees of motivation and academic ability, and opposing the national budget cuts.”
3. Where would you place your party on the political spectrum?
Inter stated that the party is centrist, and rejects any forms of radicalism, left or right. They added that it is, above all, a pragmatic party where a vast majority of policies are strongly grounded in student opinion.
4. How does your party accommodate to international students?
According to Inter, the party was founded to provide, among other things, representation for international students at a predominantly Dutch Faculty of Law. They believe in a balance between Dutch and international students. They also support equal rights and equal representation of international students at our university. Furthermore, they are endorsing that all documents should be available in English, especially considering that the UvA is a bilingual university. That being said, they are also considerate towards the Dutch students who fear that the UvA is becoming too international. As a matter of fact, they think that “the University ought to take all possible precautions as to ensure that internationalisation does not put the Dutch students at a disadvantage of any sort.”
5. Opinion on council expenditure/ budget cuts?
“Inter actively opposes the budget cuts but recognises, and is realistic about, the challenge of stopping them at a national level” stated the party. They added that a step forward would be for “the UvA to be more transparent in their budget, so students can see where the money comes from and goes to.” In terms of how to find a solution to this problem, Inter believes that simply protesting is not going to be the route to a “clear solution.” In their opinion: “by working on more definitive solutions in close collaboration with the boards and managerial bodies, we could find ways of ensuring the welfare of both students and staff.”
6. Is there a motion that another party is pushing for, that you would like to share a rebuttal for why it would not be in the students’ best interests?
“We see that a lot of parties are prominently Dutch. As a student party, we aim to represent all students, national and international. Inter believes that all information from the university which concerns students should be made available in both Dutch and English, which the councils should continue to push the university to do.”
7. How does your party involve the average student in your decision-making?
Inter explained that their student council representatives are present at the weekly meetings where matters such as sustainability and quality of education are discussed. On a more practical level, the party conducted a survey among students regarding their opinions about the university’s transparency, quality of education, and sustainability. Inter told us that “the survey provided a good insight into students’ opinions. For example, it became clear from last year’s survey among PPLE students that they want their lecture recordings released earlier than one week before the exam.” Inter also has Transparency & Democracy Officers appointed to relay information between students and the party.
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