UvAsociaal is one of the longest running parties at the UvA as well as one of the largest, creating a strong community since 2005. Our 4 main values are: diversity, accessibility, sustainability and quality of education. We have candidates in CSR, FSR FEB, FSR FdR and FSR FMG. Our candidates are highly representative of the student body, and they are motivated to drive change in the student council. In the next year, we want to see cheaper and better vegan options in the canteen, the abolition of the BSA to make space for inclusivity and more sustainable policies at the UvA.
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Academic freedom is as equally important as social safety.
Students at university should have the ability to make their own educational choices as well as feel comfortable in their surroundings. Both of these concepts are equally important to preserve accessibility and quality of education, and in line with this classes should not be mandatory and staff members should be given social safety training.
The UvA should involve students in long term plans for study spaces and teaching facilities according to the expected growth in student population
UvAsociaal believes that all decisions should be made as decentralised as possible as this will be the best way in which students’ needs are heard and catered to.
The University must prioritise active diversity policies, including decolonization, as mentioned in the 2016 Diversity Report
Diversity has been one of the core pillars of UvAsociaal since 2005, and the first section of our party program is dedicated to this issue. The UvA should definitely prioritise policies such as decolonisation in order to help students develop a wider worldview while also allowing those from different backgrounds feel comfortable at the university. Furthermore, we believe that every person at the UvA should feel included in the policies that are put in place and we will be able to achieve this as we have a large number of Dutch, European and International students running for both CSR and FSR this year.
Students wishing to take honours courses should be able to do so based on their motivation, regardless of their grades
Students who have the intrinsic motivation to do honours courses should be able to do so. UvAsociaal believes that students should make their own decisions on how to pursue their education as this further improves accessibility at the university.
All food options (including meat) should be available at the university cafeteria
UvAsociaal believes that the cafeteria should only have vegan or mostly vegan food as this is what is most sustainable for our planet and is the most accessible to all students. Those who consume meat can eat vegan food, but this does not hold for those who are vegan. We support the Anti-Kantine initiative fully, which has been championed by our candidate Titus Van der Valk.
There should be no mandatory attendance for seminars/ tutorials
We believe that students should be able to make their own decisions regarding their education as this would be in line with accessibility and quality of education. Nothing should be mandatory for students and they should have autonomy over their work.
Programs should have the sole responsibility in deciding whether they teach in Dutch or in English
Decisions should be made in a decentralised manner and such decisions should be made in a way which is beneficial for students in that course.
Student councils should support occupations as a legitimate means of protest at the university
The many Maagdenhuis occupations (from 1969 till 2015), and the more recent occupation of the Amsterdam Academic Club, are the only way students seem to be able to make a real change, as student representative bodies currently have too little power. We strongly disapprove of the use of police violence against student protesters.
All board members of study associations should receive equal financial support from the University
Board members of study associations usually have to take an extra year of study due to the workload of being on the board, and this deters international students from being involved. This is because the financial support of the university only caters to the fees of Dutch/EU students, and we believe that the compensation should be relative to the fee structure of the student in question. Hence, more funding should be made available to financially support all board members equally and to encourage students to get involved in such organisations. This will not only allow students to take part in extracurriculars but it would also give them a chance to belong to a community at the UvA.
It is the government’s responsibility to provide mental health support for students. Therefore, the university should not spend extra resources on this
The University is the first point of contact for students as they are often on campus and can easily access resources through the University rather than other more complicated means. Hence, more should be done by the UvA to provide mental health resources rather than just depending on government support for ease of access of students to the help they require. This is in line with UvAsociaal's pillars of accessibility and quality of education.
The university should stop the prioritisation of students from outside the EU in regard to university provided student housing.
We believe in sustainable internationalisation and how the university has been growing now has not been beneficial to students regardless of where they are from. However, we recognise that international students have a harder time doing viewings from their home country and they are at a disadvantage when it comes to private housing.
The UvA should cut ties with fossil fuel companies like Shell
Sustainability is one of the core values of UvAsociaal and we believe that this can simply not be achieved at the University if there are partnerships with prominently damaging fossil fuel companies. We support the protests that are in favour of cutting ties with Shell.
The UvA should offer free menstrual products at each campus
UvAsociaal has been highly involved with the work behind achieving the goal of free menstrual products at the UvA, and this was finally achieved in some locations at the university last year. This also goes hand in hand with our core pillar of accessibility, and we will continue to support this initiative to make it possible across all the campuses.
More investment is needed in interdisciplinary education (providing students with more than just one perspective on a particular subject, such as honours, PPLE or IIS programs)
This should only be done if it is in line with benefits it provides to the study programs and students’ career opportunities in the industry, not as a marketing tactic.
The number of international students in a council should be representative of the number of international students within a faculty, or the University (same for Dutch students).
Due to the low voter turnout as well as the lack of student engagement in student politics at the UvA, this policy would likely not be very realistic nor democratic.
The UvA should address problems such as systemic overwork and bad working conditions among its teachers by giving out more permanent contracts.
UvAsociaal is not just for students, but also for all people at the university as we believe that everyone should be in an environment with reasonable policies and working conditions. We stand behind all the efforts taken by Casual UvA and support teachers in their fight against systemic overwork.
All lectures should be available online, independently of COVID-19 cases or quarantine regulations
Lectures should be available online as well as be conducted in person for accessibility and higher quality of education. This is not to be limited to COVID-19 cases, as all students may need to access recordings for other circumstances and they should have the possibility to do so. Furthermore, this does not mean that lectures will not take place on campus, but that students should have the option of accessing course materials for their benefit.
Admission to programs with a limited student capacity should be based on merit rather than random selection through a lottery system
We stand for accessibility, and merit-based selection goes against this. For students to have the best chance to access education, a lottery-based system is fairest as it gives all candidates an equal chance of being chosen.
The Binding Study Advice (BSA) should be abolished
The Binding Study Advice goes against the UvAsociaal pillars of diversity, accessibility and quality of education. Firstly, the BSA can have very drastic effects on international students as their ability to reside in the country depends greatly on their academic performance, hence placing them under immense pressure, after they have had to move from another country and are trying to acquaint themselves with their new surroundings. Secondly, the BSA is also detrimental to the accessibility of students to university courses, as they can no longer study the same subject for the next 3 years. Thirdly, the quality of education of students goes down when they are under a lot of stress due to the BSA, which can further have a detrimental effect on their performance.
The Numerus Fixus (a limitation in the number of students admitted) should be used to stop the growth of the university
UvAsociaal disagrees with the Numerus Fixus policy as it does not align with our pillars of diversity and accessibility. However, considering the current state of growth at the university, we believe that this can be a temporary measure which can be used as the University thinks of better ways to solve the issues of overcrowding and lack of facilities for the student population.
The executive board of the university should be elected through an open election by the students and worker’s body
Both the Deans and Executives of the University should be democratically accountable for their choices and actions. This should be done through an indirect election, where the student and the worker councils choose the deans and the executives.
The UvA should invest in more accessibility for students with functional limitations as well as sensitivity towards these students
The core pillars of UvAsociaal include accessibility and quality of education, which can both be impeded if students with functional limitations are not given adequate support for them to succeed at the university. Additionally, staff members should be given sensitivity training so they can fully help students, and prevent dismissal of their circumstances.
As a way to curb the growth of the university, Dutch language courses should be a mandatory part of all programs
While we believe that more needs to be done to curb the growth at the University, we do not believe that Dutch classes should be mandatory as this is not in line with academic freedom. Students should be able to make their own decisions regarding their education.