Want something? Say something

International students can get a raw deal in Delft. Spacebox residents pay €20 a month for kitchen utensils? I would be ashamed if I worked at Duwo.

But if international students don’t speak out, nothing will change. I recently spent a day with Rector Magnificus, Karel Luyben, and was disappointed that with all the grumbling I hear, not even a dozen students bothered to show up to this special ‘meet the rector’ event organized for international students. But then one of the students who had a grievance about housing didn’t even want to tell the rector. “What can be done?” he asked. 

The answer is nothing – as long as that is the attitude students take. It’s not even that hard; just a tiny amount of leaning convinced Duwo to allow students to sublet their student housing, which wasn’t an option before. According to the Delft International Student Society (Diss), students can object to certain clauses in Duwo contracts, such as the one that allows Duwo personnel to enter a room any time they wish; Duwo is obligated to remove such a clause since it violates one’s privacy – but only if a student asks. Duwo wants to keep its cash cow, and so will work with students and the university administration. 

Rector Luyben meets with TU Delft students at least four times a year, and at least once specifically with international students, in order to stay in touch with what’s important to us. Diss also wants to make change happen, but they admit it’s impossible if they’re the only ones making any noise. Rector Luyben is listening, Diss is listening, even Duwo is listening. But we’re not talking.

Let me tell you how easy it is, based on my experience working for the US House of Representatives: just email Diss and the Rector’s office with an issue and your opinion. That’s all it takes. You can add more, but the only thing they need to know is what the issue is, and your stance on it. For instance: ‘Charging €20 every month for kitchen utensils is criminal. This should be changed.’ That can be the whole email, and that will give the appropriate people an idea of what is important to students, because in the end these are read in aggregate, as in, ‘we got 100 emails this week about kitchen utensils, and they all said the current policy is unacceptable.’ Do you know why Duwo wouldn’t dare charge Dutch students €20 a month for plates? Because they would have thousands of angry Dutch students and their parents calling Duwo’s office every day.

So this is what I’d like you to do: go to the nearest computer, log onto the email program of your choice, and write an email to Diss and the Rector. Tell them one thing that really annoys you about the TU or about Duwo, or better, tell them three or four. Then, tell your friends what you did, and that they should write too, because if we want something, we have to say something.

Devin Malone, a second-year MSc student of industrial ecology, is from Anchorage, Alaska.

Tijdens de zomerverbouwing wordt een groot gedeelte van het library learning centre gerealiseerd. Om hier een ‘huiskamergevoel’ te creëren, komt er in de voormalige garderobe een coffeecorner. Deze koffiehoek krijgt een bar, maar ook koffieautomaten omdat nog niet duidelijk is of een bemenste bar rendabel is. De TU wil dat het komende jaar onderzoeken. Vooralsnog staat er daarom alleen iemand achter de bar tijdens evenementen in de bibliotheek.

StudieleeszaalWie tijdens de verbouwing koffie wil, kan niet meer terecht bij de huidige koffieautomaten. Daar komt namelijk een multifunctionele studieleeszaal met studieplekken. Ook kunnen hier cursussen en instructies worden gegeven.

Achter deze studieleeszaal (bij het oude servicepunt) komt een nieuwe tresorleeszaal. Een kunstwerk van Henk Tieman (afkomstig uit het oude DOK) zal een afscheiding vormen tussen deze tresorleeszaal, de glazen zaal en de multifunctionele studieleeszaal.

Redacteur Redactie

Heb je een vraag of opmerking over dit artikel?


Comments are closed.