Red squares painted on the Academy building
It’s a campaign aimed at the board of directors, the activists say. ‘It’s time for the RUG board of directors to start properly supporting the staff and students who want to protest The Hague’s retrograde policies.’
WOinActie will hold a national demonstration in The Hague on 14 December, to protest the cutbacks in academic education. The board of directors has officially announced that they support the demonstration.
But the students say that talk is cheap; the teachers who want to attend the demonstration are forced to take the day off if they have to teach. They also dislike that the board won’t support the demonstration financially. ‘The board’s so-called support is just a load of hot air.’
‘Follow the UvA’
According to the angry students, the RUG board wants nothing to do with WOinActie, unlike the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Leiden, and the Univeristy of Utrecht.
The activists call upon the RUG to follow the UvA’s lead. The UvA actively encourages staff and students to attend the demonstration, they say. Students’ absences will not be marked at the UvA that day and the board of directors has hired buses to take people to The Hague.
In a response, the RUG has said the university does take action. The board of directors recently announced they will make an extra five million euros available to combat work pressure. ‘These are clear actions’, says RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker.
Last weekend, students protested the loans system and the increase in interest in The Hague at a demonstration organised by the LSVb, LAKS, JOB, FNV-Jong, and ROOD. Approximately five hundred people attended, including members of the Groninger Studentenbond (GSb).
Jolien Bruinewoud with the GSb said: ‘We were walking through the streets and some people who saw us joined us. Not just students, but also people in their thirties and forties who said that we were being treated poorly and something needed to be done.’
During the meeting, a petition with 124,000 signatures was presented to SP MP Frank Futselaar. The petition will be presented to the Lower House on Tuesday.