The Activist Party aims to be a link between all socialist, intersectional, decolonial, radical and progressive students and student organizations at the University of Amsterdam. We are represented in the student councils, where we raise a voice for radical democracy and inclusivity against destructive neoliberal policies that have taken hold of Dutch universities. Concurrently, we know full well that real change cannot be achieved within the limited parliamentary framework of university quasi-democracy. Therefore, the representation of the Activist Party in the Student Council is not merely an end, but a means. Our primary focus is to participate in extra-parliamentary activity in order to bring power and focus back to students through self-emancipation of the working class. Our tireless efforts in the councils support that struggle. We believe in an autonomous democratic university which works for us, and push to realize that goal. We therefore fight in the interests and solidarity of students, teachers and other staff at university, and against the interests of capital.
Click on any motion below to see the parties explination
The University must prioritise active diversity policies, including decolonization, as mentioned in the 2016 Diversity Report
We believe that decolonizing the elitist academic systems and curricula is a must and priority at the University. The 2016 Diversity Report can only be seen as a starting point; non-Dutch, -white, -heteronormative, and/or disabled students should not be viewed as tokens or cash cows. The University must be a place where these students can feel safe, welcomed and included. Too many students thus far have felt excluded, discriminated and micro/macro-aggressed on campus, we view this as unacceptable.
The UvA should involve students in long term plans for study spaces and teaching facilities according to the expected growth in student population
Democratization is central to us. Students must therefore always have more influence in thinking about the future of their university.
All food options (including meat) should be available at the university cafeteria
The Activist Party is for an accessible, affordable, sustainable and inclusive food supply for everyone. We wholeheartedly support the initiative of the 'Antikantine' and are fighting in the student councils for the democratization of the canteen: get rid of the privatization of the catering, put the canteens back in the hands of the university. No profit on our food!
We endorse the ideal of a vegan canteen, but we want to ensure that the canteen remains accesible to those with specific dietary restrictions, like halal and kosher.
Students wishing to take honours courses should be able to do so based on their motivation, regardless of their grades
Motivation is more important than grades. We believe that grades are snapshots, which means that they're not an accurate indicator of a student's ability. An honours programme already has some admission requirements, regardless of a student's grades, so it is not the case that everyone suddenly starts taking honours courses: this is still only reserved for those who are motivated and want to get more out of their studies.
There should be no mandatory attendance for seminars/ tutorials
The Activist Party is in favor of a decentralized system, in which program committees can decide for themselves whether it is to their advantage to use mandatory attendance, based on the interests of students and teachers. We are therefore not against compulsory attendance in principle, as this can benefit the educational quality and (social) development of students. However, the obligation to attend can also be annoying for lecturers, who - with insecure and 0,7ft contracts - often find little time to go through a bureaucratic and administrative hassle. Furthermore, we believe that the current attendance obligation should be handled more flexibly. For example, students who have to work to make ends meet should be able to join other work groups with greater ease if necessary.
Programs should have the sole responsibility in deciding whether they teach in Dutch or in English
The Activist Party is in favor of decentralisation, whereby study programs are allowed to decide for themselves on the language of instruction. In this way we leave the choice to students and lecturers, not to the profit-hungry bureaucratic upper class who would prefer to anglicise everything in order to earn money on the backs of international students.
All board members of study associations should receive equal financial support from the University
The Activist Party is not in favor of equal financial support from the university, as some associations and some positions take more time than others. However, that does not mean that the current situation is desirable. Small study associations are strongly disadvantaged by the current requirements of the profiling fund, and study associations that handle their documentation properly are penalized financially because they clean up their membership lists. That's absurd. This year, the Activist Party has found that class differences also play a role here: students with a lower income are less likely to commit themselves to an association because of low financial support from the university. We will continue the (class) struggle for fair compensation for all study associations, small and large, next year.
Student councils should support occupations as a legitimate means of protest at the university
The Activist Party prides itself on its place in the history of social movements that are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and fight for their ideals. In the student councils, the Activist Party is the voice for occupations of universities, in which students and teachers take their university back from the clutches of the profit-hungry bureaucratic management. It is unacceptable that the latter knowingly unleashes police brutality on students. Class struggle, also at our university!
It is the government’s responsibility to provide mental health support for students. Therefore, the university should not spend extra resources on this
These are two different questions, namely: (1) should the government invest in mental health support for students, and (2) should the university invest in mental health support for students? Our answer to both of these questions is a resounding 'yes'. Mental health is crucial and it is up to the university to offer support to students as long as the government doesn't have its affairs in order.
The university should stop the prioritisation of students from outside the EU in regard to university provided student housing.
Not the nationality, but the student's wealth should be decisive in whether or not the university offers student housing. Students with a lower socio-economic status should be prioritized. The university currently applies a policy of divide and conquer between students of different backgrounds. Instead, the university should discuss with the municipality to see how more student housing can be realized. The Activist Party also believes that there should be a (inter)national battle to get universities to take more responsibility for student housing.
The UvA should offer free menstrual products at each campus
Menstrual poverty is a big issue. Offering free menstrual products at each campus costs the university little effort and money, while many people are greatly helped by this. The Activist Party has already spoken out in favor of this policy in the student councils and we will continue to do so.
The UvA should cut ties with fossil fuel companies like Shell
The Activist Party believes that a company that profits from the destruction of our planet and flouts human rights has no business at our university, not even to 'greenwash' for PR purposes. The Activist Party is therefore working with other organizations in the AAC (Amsterdam Autonomous Coalition) to break the UvA's ties with Shell and other companies in the fossil fuel industry. This fruitful collaboration has led, among other things, to the occupation of the Amsterdamse Academische Club in January 2023. If it is up to the Activist Party, we will extend this line to all large companies that are out for profit. Academic knowledge is not a commodity, but must serve our society.
More investment is needed in interdisciplinary education (providing students with more than just one perspective on a particular subject, such as honours, PPLE or IIS programs)
Interdisciplinary education has great academic value, but as far as we're concerned, it won't get a penny more until it's accessible to everyone, not just for those who can afford it. This education should not be a revenue model for the university, but should serve to expand academic knowledge across society as a whole.
The number of international students in a council should be representative of the number of international students within a faculty, or the University (same for Dutch students).
Nonsense. Good representation of students is based on beliefs and ideology, not on nationality.
The UvA should address problems such as systemic overwork and bad working conditions among its teachers by giving out more permanent contracts.
The Activist Party stands in solidarity with all workers at our university and supports the struggle of Casual UvA. More permanent contracts for teachers and other employees - from student assistants to porters!
Admission to programs with a limited student capacity should be based on merit rather than random selection through a lottery system
A lottery system is preferred. Students who have not performed well or have not been able to perform well in high school, often at the height of puberty, should not be held accountable. Grades from that period are only snapshots that have little to do with students' motivations and skills at university.
All lectures should be available online, independently of COVID-19 cases or quarantine regulations
It is crucial that students with visible and invisible disabilities have access to online lectures. This must therefore be facilitated at all times. However, a total transition to online lectures for everyone is undesirable. In many programmes, both students and lecturers benefit from involvement and interaction. The Activist Party therefore proposes decentralization here: program committees - consisting of students and lecturers - must be able to decide for themselves whether general online lectures are appropriate for the necessary education.
The Binding Study Advice (BSA) should be abolished
The BSA is obsolete and should be abolished. The UvA should lead the charge in the national debate surrounding it by setting the BSA to 0 EC, thereby abolishing it in practice. However, students should get the guidance they need. The Activist Party is a proponent of an unbinding study advice.
The Numerus Fixus (a limitation in the number of students admitted) should be used to stop the growth of the university
The unbridled growth of the university is not the fault of international students, but of the university that lures them here for profit. Subsequently, many international students run into problems: they cannot find a home, cannot concentrate on their studies and leave Amsterdam bankrupt and without a diploma. Although the housing shortage is not the fault of international students, they are being hit excessively hard by it. Behold, capitalism. For the Activist Party, the international battle to make universities responsible for student housing is therefore paramount. A Numerus Fixus would be a first step in protecting (international) students and the city against the university's profit model, but is only a small step on the road towards radical change.
The UvA should invest in more accessibility for students with functional limitations as well as sensitivity towards these students
The way in which the UvA deals with students with disabilities leaves much to be desired. It is important to accommodate and facilitate these students, without them having to go through a process in which they have to indicate and prove that they have a disability again and again. The Activist Party has actively worked this year for better accessibility and facilities, but sees that there is still a lot to be achieved in this area.
The executive board of the university should be elected through an open election by the students and worker’s body
As a way to curb the growth of the university, Dutch language courses should be a mandatory part of all programs
Making Dutch courses compulsory in all programs is nonsense. Combating the growth of the university must go hand in hand with strong criticism of its profit model and the societal status quo, not forcing everyone to take courses in Dutch. However, all programs - including those taught in English - must provide the opportunity to conduct papers, presentations and other assessment moments in Dutch. The university must also offer free Dutch language lessons to all students of all levels, so that both Dutch and English-speaking students have the opportunity to learn Dutch or improve their language skills.
Academic freedom is as equally important as social safety.
This question is ridiculous. Academic freedom and social security are not antagonistic, but go hand in hand. A teacher who invokes academic freedom to make baseless claims that harm a marginalized group of people is a loser who has nothing to do with academic freedom.