By Julie Albers
One of the many riches of our beloved campus is the huge variety of committees. You hear about them as early as Introweek. You also know about the UCSA and ASC. But how much do you hear about the UCSRN – the University College Student Representatives Netherlands? And do you know who chairs the UCSRN this year?
Founded in 2010, the UCSRN seeks to increase collaboration between the five UCs in the Netherlands (Utrecht, Middelburg, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Leiden). Each college sends representatives from their student associations and councils. For UCU, they are Martijn Scholtemeijer (UCSA), current UCSRN Chair and Linda Barry (ASC), current Academic Council Coordinator in the UCSRN.
For all students, the forum organizes competitive events among the colleges, such as the Inter-UC Championship, and the Dean’s Debate. In the background, it is a platform to share “experience, knowledge, contacts, and possibilities amongst UCs and… a general contact hub for external parties”, says Scholtemeijer.
Once every few months, one of the colleges arranges a UC Summit, where the representatives and the rest of their boards and councils come together to discuss matters ranging from serious academic dilemmas to planning fun activities for students. It is important to keep in mind that the individual associations can overrule UCSRN decisions – it is merely a cooperative body.
But why is the UCSRN relatively unknown among students? Since it was established only two years ago, it still needs some time to consolidate its reputation. Besides, most of its responsibilities “are more for the boards of the councils and associations than for individual students”, says Scholtemeijer.
However, the platform does bring us advantages: The associations involved in the UCSRN exchange ideas and experiences, which they later incorporate into their plans on campus. So, ultimately, every student benefits.
Did we manage to get some firsthand, fresh info about the hosting location of this year’s Inter-UC Championship? Unfortunately, not – it is still a secret. Not too bad, just a reason more to look forward to the fun event. Despite remaining in the background so far, the UCSRN promises to be an interesting and useful body. Hopefully it will soon be known as such among students too.