- Laura Osterreith, Maya Müller-Perron & Mercure Libbrecht-Gourdet
FSE Faculty Council Elections 2023
NovUM is Maastricht’s fastest growing party, and represents the student body in every single Council at the University Council and its six Faculty Councils. NovUM’s manifesto is largely centered around present-day hurdles endured by students, may those be at university, at home, or any other student environment. The main themes of their policies are: housing, education, sustainability, and internationalism.
NovUM wishes to attain a high-quality educational system at FSE by avoiding any further reductions in teaching hours, and fostering more connections between the network of sub-faculties at FSE, thereby allowing students to take courses in other FSE faculties.
Regarding housing, they want to create a new English-language column on sub-faculties’ websites illustrating the rights one inhabits as a tenant, thereby breaking down language barriers. This would allow all students facing an accommodation-related issue to find broad guidelines on proceedings to undertake, as well as hyperlinks to any relevant informatory websites. Additionally, they intend to support the university to the best of their abilities in opposing limitations on the influx of international students.
Regarding future projections of students, NovUM wants to allow students at FSE to complete an internship within the scope of their university curriculum, as well as encouraging funding for sustainability- and diversity-related student initiatives and start-ups. To stimulate education opportunities for non-EU and Eastern European prospective students at UM, NovUM intends to create a scholarship system that thrives upon voluntary donations. Lastly, NovUM is working towards phasing out any disposable coffee cups, and intends to sell reusable coffee mugs, accompanied with a coffee voucher.
For more information on NovUM’s vision at UM you can check out their website https://novum-maastricht.nl/ or their instagram @novummaastricht.
Dope is Maastricht’s biggest student representation party and stands for “Deskundige, Ongebonden, Pragmatische Eenheid” which is Dutch for Professional, Independent, Pragmatic Unity.
This year the three candidates for FSE are Tim de Boer, Imke Boogers and Luca Tenback.
Much like their general vision of safeguarding and promoting the quality of education at the University, the main goals for the Faculty of Science and Engineering are to enhance guidance concerning the students’ curricula.
More specifically, more clarity towards requirements and better connections to the job market are on their agenda. Better adapted attendance requirements and recorded lectures as well as exam-only possibilities and new electives are concrete ways for demanding better accommodation for individual needs. Lastly, when it comes to creating a more climate-friendly university, a continuation of sustainability practices is also envisioned.
For more information and their full, detailed manifesto for both the university council and the faculty council, check out their website https://dopemaastricht.nl/ or their instagram @msrpdope.
KAN, the klimaat actie network is known for policies focussing on mental health and sustainability. They have had a steady rise in the past years and have now become one of the favourites for the University council and the one with the most candidates on the ballot for the Faculty Council of FSE.
This year, they are running with a full list of eighteen candidates, where most seem to be, unsurprisingly, from UCM rather than the other study programmes such as MSP, DACS or Circular Engineering. This just shows that there seems to be a much bigger interest in politics from the side of the University College Maastricht as opposed to the disciplines more focussed on empirical sciences. Maybe that should change in the next year?
The main talking points of the candidates such as Candela Ruiz-Peinado Peláez, Mark Sijtsma and Martina “Tina” Brienza are of course affordable housing and to foster better acceptance for mental health issues. Also an important issue they are trying to address is the one of diversity present at this university. They are pushing for more and better representation in the executive part of the university. They also want to encourage more representation in sciences in general, as it has long been a very male-dominated discipline.
Some concrete suggestions have also been introduced, such as additional bike spots at both campuses or a student canteen that would already be included in the tuition ! This would be a great step towards curbing the increasing prices in basic groceries that have started to plague the Netherlands. Mark Sijtsma, a Dutch candidate, also wants to tackle the division existing between Dutch students and international students coming from all over the world: rebounding on a discussion that has recently become a hot topic in Dutch news, it would indeed be a great step towards a more harmonious student life in Maastricht.
Finally, concerning course workload, an issue that only recently has started to become a topic of conversation, as students feel like they are less able to have free time for extracurricular activities with the heavy workload that their courses are setting. To foster this discussion, KAN wants to create workgroups to have direct representation of the students before the executive board and the academic staff. This same initiative was put forward to tackle the issues of mental health: a work group between students and staff would indeed be a great and direct way to address all kinds of different problems.
For the full presentation of the party, check out their instagram @kanmaastricht or https://www.kanmaastricht.nl/.