Less money for student association boards
That is part of CUOS’s multi-year plan. CUOS is the organisation that determines whether other student organisations are eligible for the allocation of board grants on behalf of the RUG.
Progressively more study associations are popping up, but the university is not making any more money available, says the organisation. The CUOS will be forced to be stricter in its evaluations as a result. ‘More associations are being formed because the university is expanding and more faculties are coming into existence, such as the campus in Friesland and the University College Groningen. We have to be stricter if no extra money is made available: otherwise, there will be no money left’, CUOS president Matthijs Katz explains.
According to CUOS, smaller groups will be disproportionally impacted by the stricter assessments.
Of great value
The student parties are not happy. ‘Reduced grants can have a negative effect on study associations, which are of great value’, said Anne van der Wolff from SOG in the University Council.
According to Lijst Calimero, study associations already have difficulty finding enough board members and a reduction in the grants will not help. ‘If it doesn’t work, then it will be at the expense of the associations and that could lead to fewer students coming to Groningen to study. This could have an impact on the income of the university in turn’, Michelle Hartmans argued.
No more money
But rector magnificus Elmer Sterken did not agree. ‘The total budget is fixed. We have agreed upon the division of funds. If we see that study associations are not receiving enough and need to be supplemented, then I would like to hear which sub-fund can be decreased. The overall budget is not going to get any bigger. It’s that simple.’
If more money needs to go toward some study associations, that means that the portion for other student associations should get smaller, according to Sterken. But the student parties don’t think that will work, either. ‘You can’t just give some study associations more and some less. I see the only option being the raising of the budget.’
But the rector stands firm. ‘I have already stated how I feel about the situation’, he said, ending the conversation.
CUOS is asking the University Board for more money for the study associations, but the chance that they will get it is pretty slim. This academic year, the organisation wants to present a proposal for the new evaluation procedure for study associations. In the proposal, the goals of the University Board are taken into account, namely that the associations pay more attention to self-development and career opportunities. ‘The way the activities of the study associations are judged will have to be increasingly based increasingly on that criteria’, says the board of CUOS.