News of the week 23
Calimero largest student party – again
Emotions were running high in the Glass Hall in Van Swinderenhuys as the outcome of the university elections were announced last Wednesday. Calimero won six seats, SOG won five and Lijst Sterk won one in the University Council.
Nine seats went to the staff faction and three to the scientific faction. Despite uncertainty about her position in the council in recent weeks, current chairperson Hilly Mast came in first place in the staff faction. The faculty council elections also saw one surprise: Letteren Vooruit, a new party in the arts faculty, won three seats.
SOG’s ‘beer campaign’ raises questions
While campaigning for the University Council elections, SOG visited random student houses and distributed free cases of beer, reportedly to raise awareness of the elections. SOG jokingly promised the rowing club Gyas a free keg of beer if the party won a virtually impossible nine seats.
Consequently, Lijst Calimero contacted the Central Voting Office about the rules regarding campaigns. Voting office staffer Betsy Pier says, ‘We are awaiting more information to determine whether or not the rules were broken.’ The most important rule regarding elections is that parties do not use intimidation to guarantee votes.
Pending University Office director withdraws
Rob Verhofstad was meant to become the new director for the Office of the University, but he will not be joining the RUG after all. Verhofstad, the current educational director at the Hanzehogeschool, was supposed to replace Bert Verveld, who was named chairperson of the board of directors at the Amsterdam School of the Arts.
However, Verhofstad was recently appointed to the board of directors at the Hanzehogeschool. According to RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens, Verhofstad has informed the board of the RUG ‘that he has made a different decision.’ The RUG board of directors is seeking a new hire.
Less bureaucracy in institutional inspections
Education minister Jet Bussemaker is calling for less bureaucracy in educational institution inspections and for more trust to be given to instructors that they can control their own classes. Instructors need to be able to focus once more on teaching instead of being accountable to third parties, such as inspectors and accreditation committees.
According to the new plans, educational institutions will continue undergoing inspections every six years, but they will be less extensive. Accreditation will be valid indefinitely, but that can be reassessed again after six years if necessary.
Gronings dialect ambassador leaving
The RUG will have to do without its ambassador for the Gronings dialect, Eline Brontsema. She is leaving, but a replacement is not imminent. She was appointed about a year ago, and her predecessor, Martin Hillenga, only held the position for two years.
‘In addition to conducting scientific research, an important component of the job is also publicity. That’s a difficult combination’, Brontsema says. Gronings professor Siemon Reker says it’s a shame that she’s leaving so soon, even though she accomplished a lot during her tenure. The research project ‘vroag en antwoord’ – question and answer – is also definitively ending.