NovUM appreciates the constructive cooperation between the two student parties in the University Council. This academic year was characterized by challenges that required joint efforts: the failure of the campus in Randwyck, the ICT problems due to MUSL, and the looming tuition fees for a second Bachelor or Master. Critical questions have been asked by all student and staff representatives of the University Council.However, every single voter should know the differences in the approaches of the two parties. Let us consider the problem of integration. Dope considers it a matter of language only. The key finding of a NovUM-initiated task force is that successful integration goes beyond language to include interaction. Language skills (‘Goedemorgen!’ to the baker) may pave the path for contact with locals, but walking it is a matter of attitude. The University ought to provide the tiles so that students can do the walking.NovUM demands a roundtable for associations to meet, a room for students to sit down and talk, and a faculty where, in the lunch break, no one feels excluded on the basis of language. We believe that our university is diverse and that this diversity should be represented. Our candidates are united by an international mindset.While Dope shows short-sightedness in their proposals, NovUM envisages the long-run. This is reflected in our Vision Document (see www.novum-maastricht.com). Take our overcrowded library as an example: Dope demands longer opening hours, something included in our Vision for more than three years now. We see the larger framework and want to tackle the problem at its roots. NovUM demands reading rooms in every faculty to stimulate good education and the exchange of thoughts. NovUM adopts this attitude in all its actions, promoting values from sustainability to transparent and democratic elections. We believe that political standpoints should be discussed in a constructive dialogue and look forward to continuing this with all student parties. We have therefore noted, with astonishment, that Dope has rejected our invitation for the University-sponsored election debate.
Bernard Gouw, Chairman of NovUM