Home English Urgent letter AKKU: ‘RU puts too little effort in stimulating active student life’

Urgent letter AKKU: ‘RU puts too little effort in stimulating active student life’

Friday the 31st of March, Student Union AKKU handed over an urgent letter to the executive board of the university (CvB). In the letter, the union expresses its dissatisfaction concerning current policies around active student life and calls for the CvB to more adequately support active students. The letter has been signed by over fifty student organisations. 

Last Friday, student union AKKU handed an urgent letter over to the CvB, in which they address the current problems in active student life. At the moment, there are not enough students who want to become board members at student organisations to keep all organisations and boards afloat. Additionally, the students who are active do not get adequate support, according to AKKU. The student union calls for the CvB to make new policies to change this state of affairs. ‘The RU announced the “Week of the Active Student” to help, but in reality, the university still does not encourage active student life enough. Therefore, we decided to write this urgent letter’, says Stijn Lintsen, treasurer at Student Union AKKU. More than fifty student organisations have signed the letter, including ANS.

Urgent letter

According to AKKU, the university does not stimulate active student life enough. The student union addresses the fact that board members have to pay tuition during their board year and do not receive enough compensation for their efforts. These board members are therefore forced to find a job besides their board membership and studies, in order to pay for tuition, groceries, and their high rent. ‘The current active students experience financial, as well as mental pressure, it leads to way more stress than what could ever be expected’, states Roos Lips, general board member at AKKU. Additionally, the low compensation board members receive does not make a board year an attractive option for students: ‘The financial pressure coming with a board year plays a big role in the decision to become a board member.’ According to Lips, the CvB does not think these are concerning problems: ‘They know there are problems and shortages, but in the end, most organisations find a board and solve problems internally.’ However, the union is of the opinion that there should not be that many snags concerning active student life. They think there should be thorough change of policy, in order to make sure students feel encouraged to become an active student, and not be worried while being one. 

To support the active student, AKKU has formulated multiple demands. The union wants the university, in consultation with students, to come to a new amount of compensation which sufficiently compensates active students. ‘The new amount has to lead to a board year being realistic and pleasant again’, the letter reads. In addition, the letter demands for the university to offer board members a tuition free year. ‘By allowing this, board members can focus solely on their board year, which will benefit their own mental wellbeing, as well as the functioning of their respective student organisation’, the union writes. To further support the mental wellbeing of active students, the union asks the CvB to create a new department at Student Support, which should specifically address the problems of active students. Lastly, the student union wants the department Student Life and International Mobility to cater more to the needs of active students, so they can develop themselves more. ‘To do this, student board members should more often be asked what they would benefit from’, the union states. 

AKKU hopes the CvB will take action following the letter. ‘If you look at how many organisations have openly supported the letter, it would be antisocial for the CvB to ignore it’, Lintsen says. Lips adds: ‘We assume we can converse with the CvB and that they will listen.’ 


‘The fact that some organisations have collapsed and the general lack of active members lead to a deterioration of the student life of Nijmegen’, AKKU states. At AKKU, as well as at Culture on Campus, there was a shortage of board members during a period of this year. ‘For a while, we formed a board of three people, while we need at least five’, Lintsen states. ‘We  therefore had to neglect some tasks and activities’, the letter reads. For student participation, the same problem holds, and organisations like asap and Stukafest even had to disband because of a lack of board members. According to AKKU, that is a grave problem, both for students and for the university. ‘These organisations have an important role in student life and ensure students feel connected with each other and the university’,  AKKU writes.

This article was published in Dutch on March 31th 2023.

Laat een reactie achter

Gerelateerde artikelen