Boete voor studieboekenkorting

Studieverenigingen geven soms ten onrechte korting bij de verkoop van studieboeken. Het Commissariaat voor de media gaat de regels strenger handhaven.

Studieverenigingen kunnen tien procent korting krijgen op studieboeken die onderdeel zijn van de voorgeschreven literatuur. Dat is in de wet vastgelegd. Maar de regeling geldt alleen als ze een collectieve bestelling plaatsen namens hun leden.

Een studievereniging mag dus niet op basis van een schatting vijftig exemplaren van een boek aanschaffen en die tegen gereduceerd tarief doorverkopen aan haar leden. Dan is er geen sprake van distributie maar van doorverkoop. Hetzelfde geldt voor webshops waar studenten  individueel een bestelling kunnen doen.

Toch gebeurt dat regelmatig. Afgelopen jaar werden twee studieverenigingen beboet door de toezichthouder: Offscreen, de studievereniging van de UvA-opleiding media & cultuur en SAMS van de Utrechtse geneeskundefaculteit. Het ging om “symbolische boetes”, zegt een woordvoerder van het Commissariaat voor de media. “De voorwaarden van de regeling waren niet voor iedereen duidelijk.”

Daarom stuurde de toezichthouder deze zomer een brief rond waarin de regels nog eens worden uitgelegd. Verenigingen die zich daar komend jaar niet aan houden riskeren een boete van enkele duizenden euro’s.

So, we finally land here in a new nation, on a new continent, and for many in a new culture. But, is it worth it? There are many reasons for leaving one’s home country. For students, a foremost reason is to get a level of education not accessible in our home countries. Another reason is to experience a new culture and environment, to see the world from a different perspective. But whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: the world has become one small global village, and it is we, the village’s inhabitants, who must try to make this village a lively and pleasant one. 

Yet, when we look around, we’re never able to look at the village as a single entity. Instead, we’ve been hardwired to view this global village as 195 different entities, matching the 195 different countries in the world. But in an international setting like TU Delft, where you’ll find at least 10 countries represented in a single classroom, there ought to be a uniting factor. This uniting factor turns out to be that we’re all thousands of miles away from the places we call home.

A void created in a barren soul that has come in search of greener pastures. This void can be filled by nothing less than the oneness we feel from interacting with people hailing from places unknown to us until the moment we met them. These interactions foster feelings of friendship and brotherhood
between young souls from different countries. And this is also a reason stated as the policy of several governmental organizations promoting international education.

Nuffic, the organization that promotes Dutch higher education abroad, says it ‘encourages cooperation’ among several countries. As an individual from a non-EU country, I cannot comprehend the exact reason for fostering this kind of cooperation. But, as an individual from the global village, I can definitely say this kind of cooperation is absolutely necessary if we need a village that can be viewed as a single entity, rather than 195 different entities. 

Getting along with someone from a culture totally different from ours is not something we can do easily. But therein lies the secret of making this global village a better place to live. Yet in this age of globalization and liberalization, there are several ridiculous hindrances to making this global village a reality. These hindrances are religion, language, culture and… what not. But we, as individuals from a rationalist school of thought, need to think beyond the barriers created by these hindrances. Getting along with every single person irrespective of their upbringing or culture must be a major lesson during our stay abroad. 

Hence, we need not worry about the results of our interactions with others. The others are here for exactly the same reason as us: to get something they cannot get in their own countries. Worrying just makes life worse. Or as Baz Luhrmann says: ‘Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.’ So let us stop worrying. Let’s make the best use of our stay abroad, and let’s make this global village a pleasant reality.

Editor Redactie

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