On 23rd of March, the WUR made a sudden announcement that evening lectures are off the table and came with an alternative plan: the extended day schedule, which is already dubbed as “twilight lectures” by Resource. In this respect, they acknowledge the negative effects found by the Panteia and SAW report and underline the importance of personal development and social engagement during the evening. Their alternative proposal however, is still an undesirable solution.
The current proposal will last until 19:00 with a lunch break of half an hour and a decrease of lecture hours with 5 minutes. The effects that this proposal will have on associations will be severe. Study associations will be limited in their organizational capabilities and sport association are faced with even more capacity problems on the Bongerd. Teachers already announced that the short break will interfere with their meetings and practical preparation. The twilight lectures could help tackle the capacity problems, but simultaneously they make a lot of student activities impossible.
The lunchbreak of half an hour will deteriorate the organizational capacities of associations. Half an hour is simply not enough to facilitate proper meetings for committees. Besides many boards of study associations take this time to get work done. A lot of work will become impossible as these meetings will have to move to the evenings, which are filled with other activities for many student. Student associations foresee less participation in activities and less capacity to organize them.
The extension of the schedule will limit the optimal use of the sport facilities on the campus. Many sport associations need the evenings to organize their activities. In the current situation, Thymos is already facing difficulties providing everyone with sufficient space, time and trainers, as expansion of the Bongerd didn’t lead to a sufficient capacity increase. By extending the current schedule the Bongerd will face even more capacity problems, as the same amount of sport associations need to be accommodated within a shorter period. Already some associations have waiting lists and the twilight lectures would only increase that. The problems of twilight lectures are not easily solved as evenings are not endless and trainers have already fixed contracts.
Teachers are not satisfied with the twilight lectures as well. As the organizational and collaborative capacity will deteriorate, the lunchbreak will no longer be a viable moment to meet students or colleagues. Getting everyone together will be difficult which will undermine the ability to coordinate different processes among the chair groups.
The twilight proposal will lead to a shift of organizational activities from the lunch to the evenings. The evenings are already filled with a wide range of activities, and become even shorter as the last lectures ends at 19:00. This means that students need to make choices where they didn’t have to before. More activities will be planned in a shorter time frame, which will lead to loss of diversity of activities that can be organized. In the future study-, sport-, student- and green organizations must compete for the same timeframe: the evening. The current implementation of the twilight lectures is therefore undesirable. The quality of student life will decrease as the diversity of activities will shrink and ability to grow through extracurricular activities will be limited.