Swain had had it with council promises

Ritwik Swain has had enough. The University Council promised to provide English summaries of its documents from the beginning of this year, but that hasn’t happened.

Psychology student Ritwik Swain is the first international student ever to be elected to the University Council. Alexandra Crisan will succeed him next year. His job isn’t easy, though, as he doesn’t speak Dutch and the Council meetings are held entirely in Dutch.

When Swain began his term of office, the University Board promised to provide English summaries. If necessary, important Council topics would be discussed in English, too. But the language barriers seem too high. Though Council members do speak English, the specialized jargon proved difficult. ‘We did try’, says chairperson Hilly Mast.


Swain doesn’t want to wait any longer. At the last Council meeting he gave an impassioned speech in which he demanded that steps had to be taken to improve the situation. ‘I’ve had it with promises.’

University Board member Jan de Jeu could do no more, though, than promise ‘again’ to do what he can to improve things. ‘We’ll try again next year.’

Representatives from both SOG and Calimero mentioned the possibility of switching to English, but that won’t happen in the near future. Berber Harkema, Calimero’s current Council member, claimed that it could take a few years, but that ‘it would be a good innovation for international students’.