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Faculty Council FGGA: meet the student members

22 November 2022

At the beginning of May, you were all invited to take part in the elections for the FGGA’s Faculty Council student members. The new members have been active for a couple of months now. What have their experiences on the Faculty Council been like so far? What are they working on and what are they hoping to achieve? We talked to student members Yasmijn Jagtenberg, Jens Mekking, Wilmer Verbree, and Laura Klein to find out.

Why did you put yourself up for election?

Laura: ‘When I was asked if I wanted to run for the Faculty Council, I was not really sure about it. I did not really know what to expect. But it is important that students and staff have a say in what happens in our Faculty, and I enjoy being involved in that.’

Wilmer: ‘After being on the programme committee, I became interested in becoming more active in participation, but then at faculty level. I think that it is important to represent the student perspective and it is an exciting challenge to be part of that.’

Yasmijn: ‘Participation is really important for me. Being heard and being able to provide input is not self-evident, especially not if you, as I am, are studying with a disability. Which is why I believe that being able and being allowed to be part of the Faculty Council is a good platform.’

What are you working on at the moment?

Jens: ‘We are currently in the start-up phase, with training courses and meetings. As member of the Faculty Council at FGGA you are part of an enthusiastic team of students and staff.’

Wilmer: ‘We took part in a few meetings now. Topics that are addressed are budgets, available education, new study programmes, the new Spui building, internationalisation, and much more.’

Laura: ‘During the last meeting with the Faculty Board, we were able, for instance, to address the fact that apart from a number of advantages, there are also a few starting problems with My Studymap, which can create tension for both students as well as staff members. As a result, a general evaluation is being planned.’

Yasmijn: ‘Apart from the various ongoing issues, there is also room to use your own initiative to tackle issues. Our final initiative is to generate attention, for the accessibility, in the broadest sense, of Campus The Hague.’

What are you hoping to achieve this year in the Faculty Council?

Laura: ‘FGGA is a really vibrant faculty and offers high quality education and research. It would be really great if we could create a better connection between the Faculty Council and the students and staff, so that people know where to find us.’

Yasmijn: ‘We would like to make the Faculty Council more accessible for students and staff. The Faculty Council is not here for its members but for you. So, if we are more informed about what is going on, we can take that on board.’

Wilmer: ‘There are also several interesting annually recurring items, such as the OER and the budget. Important issues for which we would like your input are education quality, vision on online education, and spatial management of the buildings.’

Jens: ‘Take the implementation of My Studymap, for instance, which makes is easier but also compulsory to register for exams. We would like to get a better idea of how students and staff experience this so we can effectively make an assessment with the Faculty Council. If you have any ideas of feedback, you can always contact us via e-mail: faculteitsraad@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.’

What is something people do not know about you?

Yasmijn: I love animals. Apart from my service dog Evert, I have four cats at home. I have even been a foster home for cats with disabilities that could not be easily rehomed for a while.’

Jens: ‘I love the soups from the cafeteria. If I could, I would take them home with me!’

Laura: ‘I really enjoy listening and playing music. But unfortunately, I do not really have the time at the moment, and I would feel sorry for my housemates, because I played the drums for a while!’

The Faculty Council is the faculty’s advisory council and has both advisory rights as well as the right of consent on various matters concerning the faculty. As such, the council represents both students and staff and acts as a sounding board for the Faculty Board. You can find more information here.

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