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Shortened Election Programme Studentenorganisatie Groningen 2008-2009

Quality, freedom of choice and concrete results

Studentenorganisatie Groningen Sint Walburgstraat 22 9712 HX Groningen www.stemSOG.nl


Introduction The Student Organisation Groningen (SOG) candidate party 2008-2009 proudly presents the short version of its election programme containing a number of concrete proposals. For more information concerning our party and its previous successes, please visit www.stemsog.nl The SOG is an organisation that devotes itself to the general student interests by means of a very active party in the University Council. The SOGparty critically considers the general policy and constructively participates in its creation. The SOG differentiates itself from the other parties by means of a professional stand demeanour and by regularly applying its right of initiative. The party has presented multiple papers concerning a broad range of topics. Moreover, the SOG has extensive contact with student organisations, societies and faculty councils in Groningen to ensure that they are the most suited representative in Groningen. For international students the SOG initiated the International Student Council. Vote SOG for quality, freedom of choice and concrete results! On behalf of the candidate faction, Emiel Blok Lilian Hoogenboom Erik Verdonk Sjoerd van Kuijk Pieter Hofstee Rebecca Kr端ders Ralph van Wingerden Marieke Stuurwold Friso Jansen


The SOG concerning education The SOG devotes itself to maintaining freedom of choice for students. Moreover, the SOG is a principal opponent of rigid school measures such as the obligatory study advice and study blockades on the basis of obtained ECTS. Education should be stimulating and challenging from the first moment on, e.g. through intensive education curricula as well as honoursand top-programmes, guaranteeing the possibility for students to develop their talents. Furthermore, students have to be able to develop themselves outside their study-programme by, for example, participating in boards, entrepreneurial projects and top sports. Teaching quality of staff) has a high correlation with the overall quality of education. The SOG therefore pleads in favour of an extensive ‘360-degree evaluation model’ and extra training for lecturers who have been negatively evaluated. Lectures are under no circumstance allowed to be a pale reflection of the course literature. They should challenge students, e.g. through the use of guest speakers, as well as involvement of research in the field of relevance. The possibilities of minors offer students the possibility to either increase their focus or differentiate within university-offered classes. The SOG devotes itself to ensuring that all faculties offer a broad range of minors and is of the opinion that all faculties should offer minors available to all university students during the fifth semester. Class schedules should be published at least two months prior to the start of the course, giving students a chance to make an efficient planning. Additionally, the SOG wants automatically generated personal class schedules available through Nestor. It is important that students do not lose their motivation due to unnecessary study delay. The SOG therefore pleads in favour of appointments with a study advisor within a week and a free studies preference test after semester 1a (first block). In addition, the SOG thinks it is important that the ‘soft break’ – the possibility to start a master (with 165 EC/without a fully completed bachelor) - is preserved to facilitate an efficient flow from Bachelor to Master. Finally, the SOG is of the opinion that the University of Groningen should solely cooperate with the Hanze School in areas such as facilities, culture and sports. The SOG is against education related cooperation due to differences in quality and methodology between the two institutions. The SOG concerning facilities The SOG strives for a university with a proper study environment for its students. Therefore, the university should create more and better work spaces for students. Canteens should operate in accordance with free market principle, the number of computer work stations should be sufficient to match demand and ICT should be efficiently used. Hence, Groningen should have a university which optimally facilitates students during their attendance. The canteens should adequately match demands of students, staff and other users. The canteen menu should therefore be wholesome and diverse and the price-quality ratio should be acceptable. Opening hours and prices


should not force students to seek other facilities. Canteens in the University Library (UL) will have extended opening hours during the exam period of May and June, thanks to the SOG. The SOG is in favour of a number of microwaves in the UL canteen to better facilitate students. The board of directors has decided to implement commercial establishments in the new Zernike area which is a SOG initiative. The SOG furthermore wants a leisure facility such as a bar, a sandwich shop and a supermarket at Zernike to increase the appeal of the campus. The SOG proposes to let students exploit these new establishments, which should lower prices. Such a project can be considered to be a pilot for other activities at the university that can be offered by students in a cost efficient way, as already is the case at many universities outside the Netherlands. The University Library (UL) clearly lacks capacity during the exam periods. The university should therefore actively see to more work stations in the city centre. During exam periods extra (class)rooms are used to provide much-needed capacity, as proposed by the SOG. Thanks to the SOG, students can now also make use of the unused computer rooms in the UL which was previously impossible. More laptop lockers and laptop work stations should be created to decrease pressure on the existing computer work stations. Moreover, print jobs from personal laptops and home computers should be made possible. In addition, the SOG wants to facilitate free printing using advertisements at the top and bottom of every page. The current payment system at the university can be improved significantly. The SOG wants to make card payments in canteens, at printers and at the repro shop possible. The SOG furthermore wants a payment system linked to the usage of the student card. There are many ICT related facilities currently not utilised in everyday university education. Video classes and digital blackboards are examples of sub-optimally used ICT facilities. Video classes and notes taken using digital blackboards should be put on Nestor and made freely available to –at leastthose who have subscribed to the course in question. Additionally, lecturers should be obliged to upload class sheets to Nestor. The SOG wants digital readers to be uploaded on Nestor to prevent (double) payment of copyright and staff related costs. The SOG is of the opinion that the university should offer a university-wide home log-in system which enables students to freely use all software such as SPSS and MATLAB. There are currently not enough lecture and exam facilities available, forcing the university to make use of below-par buildings such as the tennis hall. The SOG thinks that the university should expand its privately owned facilities and is of the opinion that unsuitable locations should not be used in the meantime. The SOG has therefore successfully pleaded to start the construction of the new exam hall ahead of schedule. Disabled students are in need of adequate facilities such as freely accessible university buildings and special provisions during lectures and exams. Building accessibility should be listed on the digital ground en floor maps proposed by the SOG.


The SOG concerning students According to the SOG, student organisations contribute to the solidarity of the students and the university. They should therefore fulfil an eminent role within university policy. This can be achieved through a more intensive cooperation between, for example, faculty associations and societies and organisations in the field of sports and culture. The SOG does its best to make sure that these organisations are optimally facilitated. It has successfully pleaded in favour of certificates of board and committee participation for acknowledged organisation boards and committees. The SOG thinks that the university should treat those students that actively participate in those boards and committees flexibly. Alumni can, among others, be of great importance when it comes to promoting the university, giving guest lectures and arranging internships. Therefore it is essential to increase alumni commitment to the University of Groningen. A digital ‘E-Match’ system linking student and alumni interests can significantly contribute to achieving this goal. The SOG is of the opinion that the university should actively stimulate student entrepreneurship. Knowledge already present can facilitate enterprising students, while the University of Groningen can reap the benefits of the image-improving effect caused by the stimulation of entrepreneurship. The SOG has successfully pleaded for a so-called ‘starters’ fund’. Moreover, the university has made a promise to the SOG concerning the initiation of an entrepreneurship minor at the faculty of Economics and Business. The SOG thinks that the University of Groningen should adequately cooperate with its students in forming its policy. Student participation should therefore be freely accessible. The SOG would like to increase student participation by means of a website containing all data concerning students currently participating in the creation of policy and a complaints button on Nestor. The SOG concerning research The university is an institution at which excellent scientific research should be performed and it should create an atmosphere facilitating such research. Research is also part of academic education and should therefore not be a separate identity within the institution. Therefore the SOG wants more research and interactivity in bachelor programmes as well as more freedom of choice for students when selecting their research assignment. Extending minors ought to have research as their focal point ensuring the development of research-related skills. The university should additionally increase investment in excelling research groups. Moreover, it should improve its research-profile using these groups. As a final, the SOG is devoted to maintaining and protecting cross-discipline research possibilities to ensure a broad development of students. The SOG concerning internationalisation International students attending the university should be given access to affordable housing of good quality. The SOG wants a guest account for international students giving access to university computers to accommodate students that do not yet have received a student account.


The amount of summer and winter courses should be increased and Dutch students should be able to participate if the maximum capacity has not yet been reached. The university should continue its internationalisation process, for example through extending its network of partner universities. Staff should be pointed out the various exchange possibilities to increase international staff experience. It is of great importance that lecturers’ fluency in English and intercultural skills improve. The SOG is of the opinion that an international orientation is an important part of academic development of students. Every student should therefore be offered the opportunity to attend part of their curriculum at a foreign university. The SOG proposes an international Bachelor and Master website to combine relevant information at a central location. University students should be better informed concerning studying abroad to eliminate regularly occurring misconceptions. In addition, there ought to be more short exchange programmes. Courses should be approved by the exam committee prior to departure and a course curriculum abroad ought to be recognised as a minor to eliminate unnecessary study delays. Free language software should be readily available to students to prepare for the official language test to which they should have free access the first time. Spearheads •

Freedom of choice, against blockades

Card payments in canteens

Judging lecturers on below-par education

Free printing at the University

Top programmes at all faculties

Video reruns of lectures on Nestor

Study advice within a week

Simplify studying abroad

Extended opening hours of the University Library and canteens

Challenging education

More and better work spaces


For more information about the faction and its successes, please visit www.stemSOG.nl


Vote SOG for: Freedom of choice, against blockades Card payments in canteens Judging lecturers on below-par education Free printing at the University Top programmes at all faculties Video reruns of lectures on Nestor Study advice within a week Simplify studying abroad Extended opening hours of the University Library and canteens Challenging education More and better work spaces

SOG 0809N129 Shortened Election Programme 2008-2009  

SOG report with Shortened Electrion Programme for 2008-2009

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