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For current information about the demonstrations, see uva.nl/protestsExternal link

Council Member Robin: 'As a member of the student council, you always think 2 steps ahead'

Published on 07-03-2024 11:00
In April, you can run for the student council. Bachelor's student Robin preceded you and is now a council member. He talks about the combination with his studies and what you can gain from your role as a council member. 'The work gives depth to your studies and it prepares you for your future as a lawyer.'
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Bringing about change

For Robin, compulsory attendance after the covid period brought challenges. Just then, he came into contact with the student council. He saw in this an opportunity to change something and joined student party 'De Vrije Student'. After a year in UvA's Central Student Council, Robin is now a council member for the Amsterdam Law School (FSR).

Combine it with your studies

'Working for the council takes you about 6 to 8 hours a week and is easy to combine with your studies.' The work consists of a weekly plenary meeting on Mondays from 5 to 7, committee consultations and individual file research. The meetings are scheduled so that you can attend all your lectures and working groups. The rest of your work schedule is flexible. Last but not least, as a general council member you earn over 3,000 euros net per year.

Robin is a member on the Education and Research committee and recently also on the PR committee. This year, he has already dealt with topics such as hybrid education and compulsory attendance. 'Based on students' experiences, you find out whether something is in the OER (Teaching and Examinations Regulations, ed.) and enter into discussions with the parties involved. This makes you look at the programme in a different way. The work gives more depth to your studies.'

You think like a lawyer
Robin BlomCouncil member

Working on your skills

'Working with someone whose views are 180 degrees away from you.' That's one of the things Robin has learned. The atmosphere within the student council is good. 'Everyone's opinion is accepted and everyone is willing to work together.' Another skill from his studies Robin applies in his work is critical thinking. The FSR has the right of consent for the OER. 'You read the pieces with a different perspective. You try to think what the effect is if we adopt this change.' He also thinks like a lawyer when talking to colleagues. 'You predict the opposing party's arguments and prepare accordingly. You always think 2 steps ahead.' Finally, Robin mentions time management. Because you work on your own topics alongside your studies, you learn to plan well.

Room for own interpretation

Robin is most proud of being trusted by students to represent them at this level. He is also proud of the networking gala that the PR committee co-organised. 'Over 200 students were able to meet 30 prominent guests from the diplomatic, financial, and legal sectors here.' But the best thing about working for the council is that you have the space to make it your own, he says. You can pick up those issues that you and your party think are important.

Put yourself forward as a candidate

This year's nomination of candidates will take place from Monday 3 April to Tuesday 11 April. You can stand for election on behalf of an existing party or establish your own new party. Student council elections will follow in May. 'The elections are important,' says Robin. 'It matters which parties are in the council. A proposal can turn out very differently during a vote because there is a difference in the themes the parties stand for.'

Stop by!

Do you have doubts whether the student council is for you? Stop by! The FSR meets every Monday from 5 to 7 in A2.14. Robin: 'The meeting gives a good idea of what the FSR does. You can attend a meeting to see if it's something you would be interested in.'