26 June 2018 • Areege Mallah
Free to pee
The academic year of 17/18 is coming to an end, and with that the students are wondering if their voice is going to be heard the upcoming year, they are wondering; will the people we elected this year be actual representatives?
On July 11th the current General Council will meet one last time this year with the Board of Directors to discuss the new Test Regulations, my question today is will our needs be catered to this time? A few days ago my fellow student Fabienne Ufert and I drafted and uploaded a petition against a current Test Rule, which you can find linked below. Namely, we drafted a petition in able to either repeal or replace rule 2.10 of the Test Regulations. The rule, despite it being badly translated from Dutch and still equally applicable, states: “Toilet breaks are not permitted during a test lasting two hours or less. Toilet breaks are permitted at any time during the entire duration of any test lasting more than two hours, except during the periods referred to in Article 2.12. This must take place under supervision of an invigilator. The student must leave his work in such a way that other students do not have the opportunity to view his work”.
When an average person reads this rule, their instant understanding will let them think that; if their test is longer than two hours, then they may visit the toilet at any time during the test. Nevertheless, that is not the case, the original rule apparently explains that if a test is longer than two hours, then a person may not visit the toilet the first two hours anyway. I will leave the issue of bad translations for a different time.
My issue today is, will the current General Council of the university accept such a burden to be put upon students, will they pay any attention this time or will their consent be merely given so they can go on with their lives and enjoy the summer vacation like what happened last year. The General Program Exam Regulations (PER) has already been consented to without proper consultation, which already brings me doubts regarding the results of the upcoming meeting.
This brings me back to the petition that we started a couple of days ago. The faculty I study in (BRV), currently has a total of 3300 students. When the petition was opened to students of my faculty on 13th June, we reached 200 signatures within the first couple of hours all coming from angry students that feel misrepresented, within the first day the total signatures had already crossed 300, and by June 15th we crossed the 500 signatures mark. Thus, If I compare the current petition results to this year’s Student and Staff Council elections turn-up (which amounted to a grand total of 313 from the 3300 students), I can proudly say that within three days of existing the petition received 200+ more signatures than there were votes during the elections. Let’s also keep in mind that the elections for the Councils were open for seven days.
The point I am trying to make today is that students are disappointed and angry that such rules come to existence, without us even receiving explanations as to why they exist. I did not make that comparison above for nothing, I made it to reaffirm what I strongly believe in, the students of my faculty or maybe of THUAS as a whole, feel extremely misrepresented by their Councils to a point where a simple petition can get much more engagement than a University election. This “Toilet Rule” must be replaced and if our representatives aren’t working hard enough to listen to our needs then it is time for us “normal” students to make a move. This petition will be open until Monday 18th June after which we will be sending it to the General Council and the Board of directors, and we are hoping for the best possible outcome. Our university motto is “let’s Change. You. Us. The world” and I wonder if a significant change will arise from our voices this time.
Respons from the Executive Board:
The Executive Board would like to give the petitioners the opportunity to exchange ideas with them on this subject, if they wish.