Photographer:Fotograaf: Kim Pieper
MAASTRICHT. The Executive Board supports the protest movement WOinActie and will arrange transport in the case of sufficient interest. Rector Rianne Letschert said so last week during a plenary meeting of the University Council. This was to the dissatisfaction of the student fraction.
WOinActie is going to demonstrate in The Hague on 15 March against cuts in education and the ever-increasing pressure of work. A representative of the movement in Maastricht, Renée van de Vall, stated during a University Council meeting that this was urgently needed. She was there upon the Council’s invitation and asked for support by personnel, students and the Executive Board.
Van de Vall received this support. Letschert: “We endorse WOinActie's objectives. If sufficient people want to protest, we will provide the coaches.” The Executive Board members themselves, by the way, won't be going to The Hague. “We have our own ways of standing up for the interest of the university: for example by speaking with the minister.”
The students weren't very happy with this support. Ruben Berghuis from Dope: “The university shouldn't become involved in political discussions. Facilitating the strike is a matter for the unions. If they don’t succeed, how much support is there for the strike?”
This didn't go down very well with the academic staff members. Academic council member Raymond Luja: “If we were to stick purely to what we are paid to do, we would now be having a completely different discussion. In that case, I would be supervising half the number of tutorial groups that I now supervise. It is all thanks to the commitment of staff that education continues to be so good.”
Van de Vall asked the University Council to organise - together with WOinActie - a debate about solutions to the work pressure problems during the week of the protest. “More money by itself is not enough”. When her request didn't receive immediate support, University Council chairman Jonathan van Tilburg said that he would inquire among the fractions whether there was a willingness to act. The rector already agreed to participate.