Many of you will know the Student Alliance Wageningen about the twilight and evening lectures, but behind the scenes, the SAW is also involved in other issues. As a new student union, we broadly represent interests of students. This sometimes happens loudly, for example, if the university does not acknowledge enough the student’s interest in capacity problems. But in many cases, this happens with the same partners in quiet and constructive consultations.
- For example, we have provided a manual for the elimination of unnecessary taxes from the ‘Waterschappen’ (here).
- We will host an awareness campaign on the campus about rental prices and tenant rights (here)
- Together with the student union AKKU in Nijmegen we are in the Travelers Council of Public Transport of Gelderland (ROCOV)
For SAW the general interest of the Wageningen student is always a top priority. We are working on setting up different portfolios where it is important that the student’s voice is heard. This may be within the university’s walls (education quality, personal development) but also on municipal (housing, traffic), regional level (public transport) or national level (policy on studying and funding).
From a historical perspective, it is not strange that there is a new student union in Wageningen. Many of Wageningen’s well-known activities and services were set up by the old student union WSO. The AID, the Studystore and Housingdesk were initiated by the WSO and successfully incorporated by the university. In this way, students contribute to the livelihood of Wageningen and the university. In future, there will be more beautiful plans that will improve student time in Wageningen.
The SAW originated initially from organisations with delegates. Wageningen has a strong association culture, which helps to build a secure network. Board members of these organisations often know better what their own members experience and can also provide information to their members. In return, the SAW provides training and services to the organisations. As member organisations come from different domains (sports associations, study associations and green organisations and general student associations), we ensure that future boards are strong by their diversity.
The SAW will become a student union for all students, in which student organisations and individual students can become members. Enthusiastic individuals can contribute a lot with their expertise and possibly committee work. In exchange, you will learn about the network and developments in Wageningen, communication and policy skills and get to know many other students who want to work for a better Wageningen. The preliminary idea is that individual students from June can also become members of the SAW.
Through this organisational set-up, the SAW is different from the student council. The student council is an organisation within the university that forms the bridge between students and university and is involved in the decision-making process of university policies. The SAW is an independent student platform that brings together the interests and opinions of students. It puts things on the agenda in various ways and puts pressure on what is really important to the student. The co-existence of these organisations ensures that student’s position is strengthened.
An example of this is that at the Twilight lectures proposal, the SAW will not make concessions by choosing to shorten the breaks or make college days later. Through the university magazine Resource, the university seems to suggest an A or B choice with Twilight lectures, while the capacity problems are a broader issue. What helps with these problems is that more money will be spent on structural education facilities and more staff.
The Student Alliance Wageningen is, therefore, more than an organisation focused solely on stopping evening and twilight lectures. We are also concerned with housing, public transport, taxes, quality of education and personal development. We would like to continue to do this for the Wageningen student. Evening lectures are at the moment our focus, but in the coming years, you will also be able to hear from us in other areas.