Student life

The SoSalsa dance association wants more board months

SoSalsa, the student dance association, is demanding more board months through the Council of State. TU Delft gives them 22, but they believe they have the right to 46.

SoSalsa dances five days a week in the hall at venue Delftstede. (Photo: SoSalsa)

SoSalsa has rented a hall at the Delftstede complex on the Phoenixstraat since September 2021. They give dance lessons from Monday to Thursday, and have an open practice evening on Fridays.

The administrators are compensated by TU Delft for the delay in their studies in the form of board months. At present, the Board of SoSalsa are allocated 22 board months. “We need to share this among five or six board members. But to make up for a whole year’s delay in our studies, we need 46 board months,” explains former Board Member Antonio Küng.

The student association tried to get the additional board months through an internal objection procedure, but TU Delft informed SoSalsa in a letter that it was eligible for 22 board months. The dancers believe that TU Delft is not following its own Profileringsfonds (student financial support fund) regulations. The Profileringsfonds states that when allocating board months, TU Delft looks at ‘the number of paying members and an allowance for the accommodation or the materials needed for the sport or cultural activity’.

TU Delft believes, according to a letter seen by Delta, that the student association’s core activity – the dance lessons – could be given in the X sports and cultural centre. SoSalsa also gives dance lessons on a commercial basis. TU Delft does not want to support these lessons and considers that additional activities, such as drinks, could either be held on campus or that the student association could rent something for these itself. “These criteria are not stated in the regulation TU Delft uses to determine the number of board months. And the term ‘core activity’ is not stated either,” says Küng. The two parties are now at loggerheads at the Council of State.

SoSalsa says that there are several reasons to rent the hall in Delftstede. The halls at X are too small for the number of people in the lessons, and X’s schedule is fully booked. At X, people can now only take a beginners’ salsa course. “We teach various dances and have 40 people in each lesson,” explains Küng. “The facilities at X are not suitable for so many people.” On top of that, people who take the lessons at Delftstede do not have to buy an X pass for EUR 160. TU Delft argues that if everyone buys a pass, the lessons can be scheduled at the beginning of the year thus ‘ensuring that SoSalsa has a space for these activities’.

‘The facilities at X are not adequate for so many people’

SoSalsa believes that renting a hall at Delftstede keeps down the costs for its members. “We pay for the hall from the membership fees and the dance teachers teach voluntarily. If we dance at X, our members would need to buy an X pass to be able to use the facilities.”

The current and former board members say that recognising the study delay is their prime motivation and not the money. “A board year is really voluntary work for TU Delft,” says Küng. “The SoSalsa Board works full-time for a year so we want a full-time recognition. That also makes it easier to find new board members.”

Delta contacted TU Delft for a response. Vicky van den Elsen, the Education & Student Affairs Policy Advisor, emailed saying that no statements can be made on ongoing cases and that she can also not make any statements about the individual circumstances of students or student associations.

News editor Bas Koppe

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