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Is the Student Council a buddy congregation without a real aim or purpose? A training school for law students with political ambitions? A ”who you know” boys club on campus?
Wrong. The Student Council, together with the Council for Student Services (Stuvoraad), are statutory consultation bodies whose work is, in fact, taken very seriously at the VUB.
That becomes apparent if one looks carefully at some of their recent accomplishments: the Lounge Bar 1050, the Basic Fit Lounge 1090, the bread vending machine, the group study spaces, etc. Also less obvious things that input directly into students’ university lives are result of their effort: the teaching and examination regulations, allocation rules for student rooms, the Student Life Codex…
Members of the Student Council also partake in the activities of various faculty organs, such as the Academic Council, the Board of Directors and in Brussels meeting forums such as Br(ik and the Brussels Universities’ Association (UAB). They even hold consultations with competent ministers on matters affecting students, including talks and exchanges with the Flemish Minister of Education. The Student Council is not a stranger to European conferences either.
From 20 February until 8 March (12:00 noon) students can run as candidates for the Student Council for the upcoming academic year. As an integral and valuable part of the university, international students are welcome to register. However, as the law requires that meetings and documents are held and written in Dutch, a sufficient level of Dutch is required. Information on the election activities and deadlines can be found here.
The mandate of the student representative is not reimbursed, although associated expenses are. Members may enjoy some free lunches, and earn an impressive list of competencies on their CV. Well deserved for sure – such mandate is accompanied by heavy workloads on top of students’ usual occupations. No sweat, no glory. As they say - time to seize the day.