News of the Week 6: 29 Jan. – 4 Feb.

What's happened in week 6? Fire in a student house, Scheurink wins Teacher of the Year, student loan loophole and more.

Fire in student house

thumb-brand-warmoesstraatA fire on Friday night caused major damage to a student house on the Warmoesstraat. The house has smoke detectors, but they didn’t go off right away.

RUG student Raoul Buurke woke up at 4 a.m. to see his room was on fire. After attempting to put it out, he fled – a neighbour called the fire department. Outside, Raoul saw his upstairs roommate leaning out the window. He could not get out because there was no fire escape, but the fire department arrived quickly and rescued him. The fire was apparently caused by a short circuit in an outlet.

Anton Scheurink Teacher of the Year

thumb-docentvanhetjaarFor the first time, the winner also took home the audience prize and the web prize in addition to the Teacher of the Year title. Nine teachers were competing for the title in the aula and gave mini lectures to the audience.

Scheurink is a lecturer in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. He explained why you should always take the stairs and how drunken students manage to find their way home. Scheurink was overwhelmed to hear he had won – the jury praised him for his innovative, research-driven presentation.

Sidestepping student loans

thumb-trucThere is one way to avoid the pending switch in the financial aid system from grants to loans: enrolling for a course that starts before 1 September. Any student who goes on to achieve their bachelor diploma on time will maintain the right to the grant.

The ministry has warned all universities about this loophole – schools could be fined if they permit students to use it. However, RUG students enrolled in the three-year master programme for Medicine have eleven intake points throughout the year for beginning medical residencies. Therefore, new master’s students can start before 1 September and keep their grant.

Shorter voting period

thumb-uraadStudents will only have one week – 18 to 25 May – to vote for the University council election this year. Student parties SOG, Lijst Sterk and Calimero said that the previous voting period of two weeks was too long. Party members were unable to keep up with their studies because of all the activities. Students in general also find two weeks to vote excessive.

Voter turn out last year was 30 percent, and student parties say they brought in most of the votes on the first and last day of the voting period. Less time will likely mean more effort via Nestor, flyers and email, especially because the last day will now fall on Pentecost weekend.