When talking to people who had already graduated, I hear quite often that the time of studying on the university can actually be considered one of the best periods in one’s life. Maybe the appreciation of “the good student life” comes with age, because students themselves usually complain a lot about various things. Ok, I agree that with the vision of the upcoming final exams/multiple assignments to submit/thesis to finish in sight, the statement of “studies being the time of my life” may sound like a cruel abstraction. However, when thinking about university life in a more global and objective way, it seems like indeed, it cannot be that bad in the end. We have the opportunity to learn about relevant stuff and develop our understanding about this fascinating world; we meet new interesting people almost every day and have the chance to interact with them by engaging in ambitious discussions ; we have lots of freedom in planning our time and leave some space in the schedule for travelling or partying; believe me, the list of positives goes on. Of course, there are some aspects of the university life that can be objectively seen as really annoying: always busy computers in the library, expensive meals in the canteen, the extreme time pressure before the exams, boring classes at nine in the morning or the almost unrealistic expectations of some of the course. But you know what? Instead of complaining all the time about them, let’s take active steps in changing them! If studying should be that nice as they say, let’s make it even more awesome.
Sounds good, you may think, but how an individual can change anything about the annoying aspects of the university life? Doing it all alone would be an insane idea, so don’t worry, I don’t aim at convincing you to become the second Don Quixote tilting at the windmills of school reality! However, if we combine our efforts, we can definitely make the change. So, have you ever hear about the Student Council of the FEB (in Dutch: De Facultaire Studentenraad, FSR)? Student Council consist of ten students from our faculty, who represent students’ interests and actively strive towards making our school experience better. Faculty Student Council is “both a consultative body and a lobby group, and has considerable powers to influence the policy followed by the Dean of the Faculty.” If you want to know more about the exact tasks of FSR, have a look at the article “Who Are Your Representatives at the FEB? An Insight Into Our Faculty Student Council” prepared for you by Ioana, a current FSR member. While FSR takes care of the issues of our Faculty, we have also representatives at the higher level. The Central Student Council (in Dutch: De Centrale Studentenraad, CSR), is the body representing all the students of the UvA and can be seen as a link between the students and the top management of our university.
As you can imagine, people who represent us both at the FSR and CSR can have the great impact on changing our study experience for better. Who else can help us more and understand our needs better than other students? The good news is that THIS WEEK, you have the opportunity to decide on who will represent you next year!!! Your choice today can have a direct influence on how nice your study experience will be! I provide you with a short manual on what you have to do.
1. Choose the party you whose program appeals to you the most. This year, you can choose between two parties: FEBSociaal and List Sefa. Exclusively for Rosra, both of the parties prepared the list things they want to change at the FEB. Please read them both carefully!
2. Go to stem.uva.nl and leave your vote there. You have time only this week, so from 9 to 13 May 2016!
3. Enjoy the fact that you made an active contribution to making your study experience better!
One short note on voting itself: your vote does count! You can see from the experience of many nations, that political parties winning government elections can either ruin the country or contribute to its success. Instead of complaining afterwards, be a responsible democrat and do not let others take the decision for you!