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VeSte 2014-2015 won 8 seats during the elections in 2014. However, VeSte had only 7 candidates for this year, so unfortunately one seat had to be given to another party (S&I). During our busy and exciting year, we as VeSte 14-15 had, next to all handled documents of the EB and the SC activities, also our own initiatives and activities. These are mentioned below. All other achievements of VeSte, within the Student Council 14-15, can be read in the annual report of the SC.


ACHIEVEMENTS


 Contact municipality: Legal student housing. At the beginning of our year the municipality passed a law which legalised all student houses in the city centre, which were all officially illegal before. Result of this law is that all student houses need to apply for a permit, to which neighbours can appeal. VeSte officially spoke to the Municipality council, after which the Alderman agreed that no students should be evicted due to this new law and that he personally would help students if this should happen.

 DUWO is the new student housing company in Wageningen now, next to Idealis. Our PR Wageningen initiated contact with DUWO to be able to discuss any problems that may arise in the future with regard to student housing with them.

 FOS transition year: In March many Student Boards already start to look for their successors. However, the university hadn’t submitted a proposal for new FOS regulations. VeSte initiated a transition year for 2015-2016, in which FOS would be paid as if the law hadn’t changed. This provided hesitant students with the much needed financial security of doing a board year.

 Napping spots. On initiative of a VeSte member it was discussed with the Forum location manager to install napping spots in Forum. For the year 14-15 they were realised at the end of the corridors of the 2nd floor. Since it was a trial period they did not look that nice yet, but coming year a nicer and more permanent furnishing will be installed.

 Library opening hours. On initiative of a VeSte member the library opening hours on the weekends between the self-study and exam week were extended, so the library opens one hour earlier and closes one hour later. Seeing how busy it already is during these hours, this was a welcome change.

 Career centre. On initiative of two VeSte members the possibility of a career centre for students of the WUR was discussed with the Rector Magnificus and staff members. Currently a working group is looking into this topic. A career centre could have several tasks ranging from giving tips and tricks to students looking for a job to career choice coaches.


NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS


Last year was an important year for the Dutch educational national policy: the introduction of the study advance bill. Although VeSte was never in favour of the study advance bill, our faction rather chose to take an objective, pro-actively informative role: We created some documents which described how the policy would influence the individual Wageningen student – this was shared online and via student and study associations. We answered many questions, organized an event and encouraged university staff to improve their communication on this topic. Besides, we found that for current BSc students in Wageningen it is still possible to apply for their masters next September, while retaining their basic grant from DUO. We were also critical: asking questions to the ministry of education (OC&W) about whether the money saved because of the study advance bill would also flow back to Wageningen. They stated that the 2% funding-cap of the university will not cause any problems – also Wageningen will receive its share of the ‘leenstelselmiljoenen’.


Another major topic is the ‘Maagdenhuis’ occupations – where students and staff asked for more involvement, democracy and transparency of the universities. Also in Wageningen we experienced the consequences of this student activism in Amsterdam. This resulted in a debate with the Rector Magnificus on student democracy and a transparent university, organized with the whole Student Council. The momentum created a nice opportunity for us to discuss some points of improvement regarding student democracy with the Executive Board.



ACTIVITIES


During the past year, VeSte has organized quite a lot of events related to creating awareness of what VeSte is and does and to get input from students on relevant topics. Apart from our regular meetings with the study associations, Contractus and other student organisations we also asked for input more directly from students, for example:


 Blackboard survey throughout Forum (question ‘Wat te doen met een leenstelsel miljoen?’ or ‘What to do with a million’ to improve the quality of education). A report of the outcomes was handed over to the Rector Magnificus and was used for inspiration in the discussions on the universities investments.

During the VeSte-comes-to-you-tour we had several event that were done in cooperation with student associations to increase their impact factor:


 International party at ‘t Gat in cooperation with ESN

Provinciale Staten elections debate in cooperation with SSR-W

 Utopia party in cooperation with KSV

 Linked-In workshop in cooperation with Mercurius

 Workshop evening on the social loaning system in cooperation with KLV

 Aerobics work-out at Forum in cooperation with Thymos

 Ball Tournament in cooperation with Thymos

Since VeSte aims to represent all active students of Wageningen UR, we also organised three other activities especially aiming at those students:


 Midwinter Boards Drink, where all student boards were invited to meet and mingle to improve the cooperation between the different organisations in Wageningen.

 Boards Market, a market at Forum where all boards looking for successors could present themselves to students looking to be active.

 VeSte Board Congress, an evening for all (future) student board members full of workshops that will help them in their coming year.


ELECTIONS


We worked hard on the preparations and the execution of the elections for the academic year 2015-2016. The elections resulted in seven seats for VeSte! However, we had only six candidates  for the seats (Nick van Nispen, Marieke Kil, Lois van der Molen, Teun Fiers, Jay van Lunteren and Wilco Muller), so a seventh person needed to be found. In the weeks after the elections we tried hard to find someone suitable. Eventually five people applied for the vacancy. After the job interviews the application committee decided to appoint Bram Kerssemakers as our last addition to VeSte 2015-2016. We are sure a great team has been formed for coming year.


It was a pleasure to represent you, the active students, for the year 2014-2015. We wish you all the best for your study time in Wageningen and remember to stay active!  


Jelske, Rogier, Tjerna, Robin, Soline, Karel & Sander

































VeSte annual report 14’-15’