About the GSb
The Groningen Student Union is an association dedicated to the interests of students in Groningen. For example, by engaging in dialogues with the municipality of Groningen, University of Groningen and Hanze University we stand for student housing, good education and a strong legal position for students. An example is the establishment of the committee for mediation costs Groningen. The GSb has been active for more than a year to address the problems of high intermediation costs and bad brokers and to get attention for this topic. Finally, in September 2014 a new organization was founded together with the municipality of Groningen and two other student assiciations.
In addition the GSb offers free legal advice to students who, for example, have problems with their landlord, have a disagreement with a supervisor or have a problem about their binding study advice. The Legal Committee and Rental Team offer this advice and mediate where possible. The Rental Team also performs free rent checks to determine whether or not the student is paying too much rent..
The tasks of the GSb are very broad, whether it is organizing a demonstration against the feudal system, set up a select pointer for the municipal elections in Groningen or providing relevant information, the GSb helps students.
The Groningen Student Union’s mission is to represent the interests as well as to improve the position of students of in Groningen.
The vision of the GSb is that students should experience little or no obstacles in the area of finance and mobility. Furthermore, students should enjoy the highest possible quality of education.
The GSb consists of an executive board, committees and its members. The executive committee carries out a policy which is partially determined by the members through general meetings. Thanks to active committees where members are committed to the association and thanks to other members GSb is able to represent student interests. Whatever the GSb does, it falls within the four pillars of the association: service, information, advocacy and campaigning.
Organogram Groninger Studentenbond
Students can turn to the GSb if they have problems with their education, part-time jobs, the DUO, their landlord etc.
– Legal Helpdesk
The Legal Helpdesk has specially trained staff who can assist law students. If needed, a student can make free use of the legal network of the GSb. The Legal Helpdesk comprises twelve law students who volunteer for their own practical experience.
– Rental Team
Students can turn to the GSb Rental Team if they want to check their room on the legal rent. The Rental Team supports the student till the ‘Huurcommissie’ and mediates between tenant and landlord. The Rental Team students can save hundreds of dollars per month and reduce misunderstandings. At a rent check two employees come along to measure the house. Not only individual students are helped by the GSb. The GSb is also trying to inform students about activities in tenancy law and bad landlords. An example is the ‘Danni Lowinski’ activitie involving the Rental Team as the Legal Helpdesk with a stall at the Academy building, Zernikeplein or on the ‘Grote Markt’. These are to educate students and help them, they can also ask for a free rent check. Usually the GSb also requires the fire department and the police to tell more about (fire) safety.
Representing the interests of students
In the past GSb was not only active at the municipality and local political parties, but also in the University Council of the University and the HMR at Hanze University. In recent years, it was found that few students felt involved in such councils, and that the GSb could make better use of it’s involvement in another way. This is why the GSb is now more active in the housing policy with the municipality and less active in the education policy at the University and Hanze University. The GSb is still committed to rural education, for instance by protesting against the 1040 hours standard in 2011 and the feudal system in 2014.
The GSb attempts to keep students well informed about the latest developments in the world of education and the housing policy of Groningen. The GSb spreads the newsmagazine Nait Soez’n at different locations of the Hanze and the RUG, which examines critical issues which are relevant to students. In addition GSb publishes a Dutch and English Housing Guide explaining your rights as a tenant every year . This guide contains everything a student needs to know about finding a room and living in Groningen. Both editions are also to be found at the RUG and the Hanze, they can be picked up for free at our office and downloaded for free on this website (here). The GSb also publishes regular press releases to draw attention to an issue or change, for example the approach of mediation costs and the potential master selection at the RUG.
The GSb also ensures that information from the RUG and Hanze is maintained and up to date. If it is unclear or incorrect information is given, we speak to the institutions accordingly.
We ask for attention on a certain issue by ludic actions. The goal of campaigning is: achieving affairs in interest of students, demanding attention for the interests of students among students themselves, the institutions, the media, the politicians, et cetera. Examples of studentactions are the demonstration and manifestations at The Hague on January 21th, 2011, and also the occupation of the main office of the board of the university by a group of students in November 2009. There are also lufic and creative actions to create attention for certain issues. Actions differ in size, depending on the situation. The concept behind campaigning is that it has an emancipating effect for the people invested in the issue, giving them the feeling that they can change their own situation by uniting with others to accomplish this. The GSb doesn’t only campaign for students, but also with students. This doesn’t mean that we campaign just for campaigning, on the contrary. The campaigns that the GSb is organizing or participating in this year will be based on thorough research and analysis of the situation, and go hand in hand with dialogue and lobbying.