Groepsfoto van de USR 2022-2023
Groepsfoto van de USR 2022-2023

USR Column April

"When I think of my most valuable experiences during my time at Radboud University, these experiences often have a connection to a student organisation: starting as a member of study association CognAC, two years spent on the board of the E-sports association Dorans, and now my year on the board of the Nijmegen Student Sports Council (NSSR) and the University Student Council (USR). These organisations have not only provided me with close friendships, but also with opportunities to grow as a person and a student.

Bart van der Heijden

As members of the USC, we are also closely associated with student organisations. We ourselves are members of associations related to different studies, interests, hobbies, and sports. Moreover, as members of participational bodies, we are also associated with organisations such as the NSSR or AKKUraatd, which advocate for the interests of students.

It is precisely because of this deep-rooted connection between the University and student organisations that we, as participational bodies, are currently concerned about the state of our student organisations. Although in most cases associations’ membership numbers have recovered after the pandemic, we often hear from organisations that they are increasingly having trouble filling committee positions and finding successors for their boards.

We are happy to see that our concerns are shared by Radboud University: for instance, the SLIM department organised the ‘Week of the Active Student’ last week, and compensation for membership of participational bodies has increased in recent years.

However, I think the current policy is insufficient. The University can better recognise the value of its student organisations through higher compensation that covers a greater portion of a student’s monthly costs. The University can also promote the personal and academic development of student board members by better aligning board work with their studies.

Of course, the responsibility also lies with us as students: ask your association how you can help. It is precisely during these months that boards are again looking for their successors. Who knows, maybe you are just the person they need."

- Bart van der Heijden, Artificial Intelligence student and Political Commissioner for NSSR

Every month, a member of the University Student Council (USC) writes a column to inform students about current developments around student participation within Radboud University. Do you have questions or input? Contact the USR at usr [at] (usr[at]ru[dot]nl) or @radboud_usc on Instagram.

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