MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University must develop concrete plans to achieve its sustainability goals. So say the more than a thousand signatories of an open letter, which was handed over to the Executive Board on Tuesday afternoon. Vice-chairman Nick Bos received the letter on the steps of the administrative building on the Minderbroedersberg. When asked, he said that the Executive Board will respond to the letter “in time”.
The UM has the UM 2030 Sustainability Taskforce, but it has too little power, said Ezekiel Stevens, student member of the university council for the KAN Party and one of the initiative takers of the letter earlier in Observant. “Members of the Taskforce do this work alongside their regular tasks, whether this is education, research or policy. They have too little time to co-ordinate large initiatives. They also haven’t managed to contact the faculties. Because of this, they cannot contribute towards decisions being made at that level. Lastly, a lot of money has gone into hiring external experts. That is a pity, because there is a lot of knowledge available within the university.”
That is why the authors want a clear strategy, with plans that are based on research results. A new sustainable body, composed of internal experts, both employees and students, who – contrary to the Taskforce – are given a sufficient number of hours to co-ordinate those plans. It should be headed by a Director of Sustainability and the university is to facilitate the whole plan.