de Volkskrant

I have been actively involved in student politics at the Faculty of Economics and Business for 2 years now, beginning in March 2015. Over the years, I have had different colleagues. I have had to work with members from other faculties, collaborate with them on projects, share insights and strategize about what is best for students. I have seen the work ethics of different people and have learnt lessons along the way. However, if there is one thing that I have learnt, it is that joining student politics is a thoroughly unique experience, and the people you meet along the way leave an imprint on you. Now that elections for the Faculty Student Council (FSR) and Central Student Council (CSR) are coming up, allow me to give you a quick glimpse at what my life was like in the FSR FEB, over the last two years.

The FSR FEB is the Student Council of the Faculty of Economics and Business. We are 11 people, including one secretary and 10 elected members. The council has two committees, namely, Education and Research (E&R) and Organization and Media (O&M). There are different positions, which are Chair, Vice-Chair, CSR representative, E&R chair, O&M chair and general members. All the chairs make up the Daily Board, which is basically a sub-committee within the council. The function of the Daily Board is to ensure that the council functions properly, and where the chairs can address issues. General members can also bring up issues and problems at the Daily Board meetings, so that the chairs can figure out a way to address the problem.

Moving onto the committee, the Education and Research is concerned with improving and initiating projects regarding the betterment of educational quality. Although this is a broad umbrella, the portfolio of files is very specific and change from each council year to another. 2017-18 saw the initiation of files such as the Minor in Sustainability and Economics and Blended Learning. I personally am working on the Minor in Economic Sustainability, so allow me to explain it in a bit more detail.

Climate change, and unsustainable use of resources have become critical issues, that the world collectively faces. And its correlation with economic theories such as growth and industrialization are of paramount importance. As students of economics, it is important to understand the consequences of unsustainable growth, and what threshold levels are to be attained so that future generations can also make use of resources. Most importantly, it is also important to understand how to reverse the effects of our economic activity, in term of de-growth and sustainability. To this extent, the Faculty Student Council of Economics and Business (FSR FEB) has come up with a proposal for minor in Sustainability and Economics, which we strongly believe will benefit the faculties involved and the students taking part in it.

We engaged in discussions with professors from the Faculty of Science (FNWI), Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) and Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) to create a minor. The courses in the proposed minor already exist, and do not require additional personnel to be executed. The minor will be spread out throughout the year, thus allowing students enough time to understand the subjects and intricacies. Moreover, because it is an interdisciplinary minor which combines subjects from different fields, students gain a holistic overview of sustainability and economics, and are enabled to draw linkages between the two concepts, which is a favorable middle ground for all faculties. This fosters interfaculty co-operation, and would result in a nuanced program.

Some of the best universities globally focus on sustainable economics, equipping students to work in this field and help make a change in the world. If FEB is to retain its respected position as an innovative and progressive university, then it must adapt to the changing times and deal with the latest issues in the science of economics. The proposed minor in  Sustainability and Economics does exactly that. It is a win-win situation for the students, for the teachers, and for the faculties involved, by promoting a healthy exchange of knowledge and ideas, and creating students who aim for a sustainable world. We strongly believe that it can be easily implemented, and it will be extremely beneficial for all parties involved, given that there are absolutely no costs in implementing this minor.

So we hope to get your support on this issue! I would be personally more than happy to also tell you about the other files, but this is one of the pivotal files I am working on. On behalf of the council, please feel free to drop by at E0.06 for a chat with us (or me more specifically, if you have good taste)!