International Student Council up and running

International representative Taku Mutezo has revived the International Student Council. The goal: less conversation, more action.

Taku wants to do more than talk, which was what the student council did when it was founded last year. She wants to bring together students from a mix of countries and academic fields to hear their ideas as to ‘how the university can improve from an international perspective’.

There’s one important way that the council aims to do that: the Council representatives also form a network of go-to people across the whole university for internationals. They want to coordinate social events to bring Dutch and international students together, as well as to be a ‘complaints desk’.

Plans for change

Taku hopes that students will come to the council with plans for change. The six members can then make a plan to make those a reality.

However, the council is still young and very much in the phase of identifying the relevant issues. At their second meeting on Tuesday night, only three of the council members were able to make it to SOG’s offices: co-chairperson Elizabeth Cristodoulou, 20, a Greek-American student of International Psychology; Gili Beenstein, 24, an Israeli exchange student of Computer Science and Economics; and Taku, who chairs the council.

Taku was apologetic about the meager turnout, but since the student party’s Dutch chairperson, Marieke Zwaan, was there too, the council’s aim for international and Dutch students to get together may yet be achievable.

Boost your CV

The council will focus on all levels of student life, from the needs of international students not being overlooked in the classroom to being prepared for the job market after graduation through Next, whom Taku sees as having a responsibility to help all students boost their CVs – including internationals.

Other aims are to raise the percentage of Dutch RUG students going abroad from 16 percent to 20 percent and getting internationals students staying in Groningen for the summer to enroll in the RUG’s summer schools.