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The Central Student Council and Elections at UvA

Every year, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) carries out elections for the Central Student Council (CSR) and the Faculty Student Councils (FSR). This year, elections will be held from 13th May to 17th May. In these elections, students from all faculties have the opportunity to choose the parties they want to be represented by and potentially become candidates!

Central Student Council


The Central Student Council (CSR) is a student-run organisation at UvA that works on a wide array of topics ranging from large-scale matters like the housing crises to smaller issues such as canteen food options. Every 6 weeks, the CSR arranges a meeting with the Executive Board (CvB), during which the proposals for resolving issues or at least reaching a middle ground are discussed. 


It is important to note that proposals that the CvB has approved are obligated to be implemented due to CSR’s legal authority, thus making elections vital for students to choose appropriate representatives. Currently, 14 members of the council are committed to working in the interests of UvA students, including delegates from different faculties. Out of the 14 members, 7 are elected directly through the CSR elections. These 7 members are part of different student political parties: UvA Sociaal, 020, and INTER. If you would like to find out more about the different political parties in detail, please look forward to a detailed overview of the parties by Inter Times.  


If a proposal by the CSR is rejected by the Executive Board, the council reviews the proposal and the budget before presenting it again to the board. Such persistence over the years can lead to gradual improvements in the community, aided by the CSR’s right to consent on decisions.


Even though many of you might not have heard of CSR, you must have heard about different projects that they have undertaken. The most notable project with which CSR’s name is associated was menstrual equity. 2-3 years ago, the CSR discovered the problem of period poverty and tackled this issue by offering feminine hygiene products throughout the campus at subsidised prices. This issue brought to light the significance of CSR and its contribution to the UvA student body.


Faculty Student Councils


The Faculty Student Councils (FSR) are a group of students that discuss faculty-centric issues and faculty policies with the dean. They also define the students’ rights in the academic realm of the university. 


Similar to the CSR, this faculty council is also a legal student body with enforceable opinions and can revise some sections of the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER), a regulation that safeguards the rights of students and teachers of UvA. In total, there are 7 faculties: Faculty of Science, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Economics and Business, and Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.


Participating in the FSR involves functional tasks such as attending weekly meetings, writing and reviewing policies, and engaging with faculty deans to formulate or make changes to different policies. The workload varies throughout the year and depends upon the agenda set by the FSR and CSR.


The structure of the FSR consists of multiple committees with designated roles, for instance, Finances and Education. Each faculty appoints a delegate who partakes in CSR plenary meetings and conveys agendas from the faculties to the CSR, working collaboratively between the two councils. 


Collaboration between CSR and FSR


The CSR and FSR often work hand-in-hand, to jointly solve issues that are found throughout the university and the faculties, despite both councils operating at different tiers. For example, one of the areas of focus of the CSR in the past couple of years has been making changes to the Teaching Regulations at UvA and for the FSR, the more faculty-specific teaching issues are discussed with Programme Coordinators. These discussions often include academic issues such as lectures, programme syllabi, etc. Both councils are dedicated to making students’ education experiences worthwhile at UvA and regularly commit to meetings with deans and development officers of the university regarding teaching regulations and academic matters.  


Although the decision on what issues must be addressed first rests with the councils, in the CSR and FSR all issues are given equal importance.


How are Students’ Voices Heard?


Students can approach FSR and CSR members directly or through social media and emails to voice their opinions about the workings of the university. Sometimes, when the councils want a rough idea of issues persisting throughout the UvA, they’ll conduct surveys that provide a more in-depth perspective with statistics and data. 


What Happens After Elections?


Upon the election results being announced, the newly elected council creates agendas for monthly meetings. These meetings are consistent with discussions on current issues and proposals for projects that the CSR may undertake, for instance, the REC campus development. The agendas and the minutes of the meetings are all available on the Studentenraad website.


While participating in the CSR or FSR demands time and dedication, the gradual change brought about by the students, for the students, is rewarding!


If you would like to apply to become a CSR or FSR candidate, you can do so before April 23rd, 2024 by applying through UvA parties.

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