4.1 Support for associations during the corona crisis
The corona crisis affects everyone, including all Utrecht associations. The government comes to the rescue of companies and organizations and De Vrije Student believes that Utrecht University should also take its responsibility and provide support to its associations where necessary. After all, associations are a very valuable addition to Utrecht student life and contribute a great deal to the development of many Utrecht students. The Free Student therefore wants associations to receive extra support in promoting and recruiting new members. Furthermore, the lines with associations will have to be kept shorter in order to stay well informed of the situation and to be able to act in time. Above all, De Vrije Student believes that the university should guarantee the survival of all Utrecht student associations during this crisis.
4.2 More recognition for extracurricular activities
“Recognize and appreciate”, that was the theme of the academic year 2019-2020. As far as De Vrije Student is concerned, there will also be more recognition for extracurricular activities. We therefore propose that students who have been extra curricularly active more than average should be awarded an additional certificate in addition to their diploma. For example, students have formal proof that they can demonstrate that they have actively worked for the university or society. De Vrije Student thinks this is a great way to reward the efforts of students.
Students deserve equivalent recognition for a board year, as for a minor or internship. For De Vrije Student, this means that credits can be obtained under certain conditions. The credits can be earned within the profiling space, just like with a minor or an internship. In this way, the student is rewarded for this extracurricular activity, a board year is more accessible and the student suffers less study delay. The idea of setting up a minor aimed at leadership has fallen several times at Utrecht University. This minor could be a combination of an internship, which can be completed by the board year, and several additional subjects.
4.3 Tuition-free management while maintaining the current grant
The Free Student thinks it strange that students who do (full-time) board work and therefore do not or hardly take courses, still have to add more than 2000 euros tuition. Although the university now states that this money is paid back through the scholarship, this means that in many cases little remains of the scholarship.
It is understandable that student administrators must be enrolled at the university, but it is incomprehensible that they have lost the same purely for this administrative act as students who study full-time. De Vrije Student therefore pleads for the immediate abolition of the obligation to pay the full tuition fees if students are unable to study full-time due to board or committee work.
For student administrators who do not follow courses at all during their board year, the obligation to pay must be canceled completely; For students who drive and study part-time, an adjusted rate should apply, which is already being experimented with in the flex study pilot. In this way, board work becomes more accessible to all students. After all, there are still too many financial barriers that make board work a luxury function that is not for every student. Removing these barriers makes it easier for all students to do a board year. The university also shows that they appreciate all the hard work that students do for their association or initiative.
4.4 Prize for special managerial merits
Utrecht University currently has two student prizes: one for the Best Master's thesis and one for Special Merits. Although the latter prize is intended for both social and administrative merits, in practice it is almost always allocated to a social merit. This means that special administrative earnings at Utrecht University are not rewarded. The Free Student therefore proposes to create a third student prize: the prize for administrative merit. This prize, like the other student prizes, will be awarded annually at the opening of the academic year. The prize will be awarded to a student board member who has made exceptional administrative achievements during the past academic year. The prize can also be awarded to an entire board. The other criteria, procedure and monetary amount will be the same as for the other two student prizes.