Why join the faculty council of the Faculty of Archaeology?
The university elections will soon begin be held again! But first, from the 20th to the 24th of April you can register yourself as a candidate for the Faculty Council of 2020. But why would you do this? We asked the three resident student members of the Faculty Council: Kiki Koppers, Jan Dekker and Joris Geboers.
Why did you decide to run for the Faculty Council?
‘At the time I decided to apply for the Faculty Council, because I thought it was interesting to learn more about what is happening ‘behind the scenes’ at our faculty,’ Kiki says. ‘The Faculty Council provides a good opportunity to learn that and to have a say in these procedures.’ Joris agrees with this, and Jan had a similar reason as well: ‘In general as a student you only see a small portion of what is happening at the faculty and I was curious to see how things were organised here and to learn the reasoning behind choices made.’
To what kind of matters have you contributed this past half year?
‘Topics that the Faculty Council generally advises on are matters like the faculty budget, its strategic plan, human resources and basically all other matters that the Faculty Board is working on,’ tells Joris.
Jan specifically mentions the Rules of Procedure of the Faculty Council. ‘This determines how the Faculty Council works and what should be revised. Apart from the Rules of Procedure we have been busy with the RMA and its educational reforms. For example, following our advice, the application procedure of the RMA is now held earlier in the year, so that students will know whether they have been admitted to the RMA or not at an earlier date.’ This is one example of how a councilmember can influence how the faculty deals with students.
Kiki has been focusing on the documents sent to the council for commentary and helps with the secretarial work of the council (like the minutes).
How much time do you put in and what do you get in return?
‘The amount of time I spend on the council varies considerably through the week,’ responds Jan. ‘Sometimes, if there are many or long sent in documents, you will need quite some time to process them all. What the council gives in return is insight on the management of the faculty and a say in important matters. Over the last one-and-a-half year I have experienced the value of advisory organs, because as student members we can often provide a new perspective on certain matters, something which the Faculty Board really appreciates.’
Kiki agrees. ‘As co-portfolio holder BA I spend most of my time on documents related to the BA program and other important general documents like the Strategic Plan. Depending on the amount of documents we receive (or write ourselves) I spend more or less time on council business. On average I spend around 10 hours per month, including meetings, on the Faculty Council.’
So what she get in return precisely? ‘A faculty/policy in which I have a voice and the opportunity to represent the students. Sometimes that is not always clearly visible ‘on stage’ so to say, but behind the scenes it is very clear, which gives me satisfaction and appreciation for this position.’
Joris as well experiences his work in the Faculty Council in the same way. ‘As council member you spend most of your time reading documents and discussing these within the council and later in a meeting with the Faculty Board. What you get in return is first of all a lot of knowledge on what is happening at the faculty. In these matters you can provide a student perspective in order to make sure that the wishes of the students are taken into account in the policy making at the faculty.
Represent your fellow students
Would you like to represent the interests of our students and staff over the next year? Then why not stand as a candidate in the week of 20 April.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the elections for student and staff members of the University Council and student members of the faculty councils have been postponed till the week of 25 May.