Electionweek

Editorial

Lorem Ipsum?

“Lorem ipsum is a placeholder text commonly used to demonstrate the visual form of a document without relying on meaningful content. Replacing the actual content with placeholder text allows designers to design the form of the content before the content itself has been produced.” At the very beginning, when we just started with the idea of our election team, we didn’t yet have a name that unified those who were interested in cooperating so I simply called it “Lorem Ipsum” until we would find an actual name, better suited for the vision of our ever growing group. As we went along with forming our upcoming praesidium and planning the election week, we started to reflect on the name and we came to the conclusion that what we already had was quite a nice metaphor for what we are going to do. We, as an election team, are a sort of placeholder, an unfinished product who will only be meaningful when elected. Additionally, we’ll use the ‘design’ of the old praesidium in the hopes that we don’t have to fill that in with a placeholder anymore, but that we might fill it in with our very own text and vision. Therefore, we will do our very best to make the election week into a real thing in the hopes that we, as an election team, will be elected as an actual and real praesidium. Please join us on this journey from *Lorem Ipsum* to Praesidium NFK ’19-’20!

NFK?

NFK is the abbreviation of ‘Nieuwe Filosofische Kring’, meaning ‘New Philosophical Association’ and is the association for Philosophers by Philosophers. This mean that everyone, both in the English and Dutch Program, who takes at least 15 ECTS at the HIW, the Institute of Philosophy, is automatically a member of NFK. From years on end, we choose explicitly to not execute the so called ‘student hazings’ because we think that there shouldn’t be a threshold for being part of our association. Therefore, we will proudly maintain this tradition and invite everyone to become a part of our association. Needless to say, NFK also welcomes future students, alumni and other sympathizers.

What is the Praesidium and what is going to change?

The praesidium of NFK is actually a combination of two individual entities. On the one hand, NFK is a student collaboration. Varying from a student-like cantus or a bustling TD to attending lectures and visiting museums, NFK has it all. On the other hand, NFK is student representation. NFK will always defend the interests of the common student and will always make sure that their voices will be heard. The most important change to the structure of the praesidium can be found in this fundamental distinction: Originally, the praeses is the head of both the student collaboration and representation. However, we will opt to separate these two responsibilities to diminish the workload of the praeses and to increase the quality of both the tasks. The praeses, Michiel Geusens, will lead the student collaboration, whilst the vice-praeses, Joëlle Doek, will be the head of the student representation. This, however, does not mean that these two tasks will be fully autonomous from each other. Both tasks will be a part of one coherent praesidium and both heads will communicate closely and frequently with the other. Besides this change, we will leave the structure of the praesidium as it is. The daily management will, just as this year, be managed by the high-praesidium, which will consist of the praeses (Michiel), the vice-praeses (Joëlle), the treasurer (Kaat) and the function-coordinators of the most relevant functions (Elise, Jade, Abheer, Jelger and Jonathan). This counsel will therefore gather weekly. The praesidium-counsel, in which each member of the praesidium resides, will still gather one or twice every month to vote about more general matters. Also the workgroups, which realized things like the Christmas dinner and the culture trip, will continue to exist and will remain open for everyone willing to do their part, without wanting to commit themselves to the praesidium. The same is true for ‘NFK facilitates’, an initiative in which NFK will provide support for people outside of the praesidium who wish to organize events. NFK will also keep promoting the integration between the Flemish and International community. We will try to involve exchange and international students in all of our activities. I’m very glad to announce that we have four international (non BeNeLux) students joining our election team this year! With their help and hopefully the help of all of you, we will keep strivingto an even more open and inclusive association.

Vision education

Every student at the HIW is represented by the student representation. The task of the representatives is twofold. On one hand they have to address the problems of the students. On the other, they have to keep the interest of all students in mind, while respecting the ideas of the faculty. Students can come to the open education meeting and give their opinion. However, not many students know that these meetings exist and/or don’t come. One of the problems is that a lot of students don’t know how they’re represented. The students are represented on faculty and on university level. On faculty level things that are relevant for the education on the faculty are discussed, a recent example is the bachelor reform. On university level, at the student council (stura), the aim is to form an opinion of students with all the student representatives of the university. Our main goal for next year is to involve more students in their representation. The more students participate, they better they can be represented. The first step is to make sure that students know who is representing them. If they know this, they know who they can tell their education related problems. The next step is to make sure the open education meetings are more known. It is important that students know how they’re represented, because that’s the only way for students to get more involved in education. The open education meetings are open for all students. In this meeting the students decide what the opinion of the students is. The representatives will defend this opinion in meetings with the faculty, or on university level in stura. A concrete way to make these meetings more known is to schedule the meetings on time and to announce the specific topics beforehand. In this way students can think and talk about it before the meeting and can decide whether they want to say something about it. The opinion of the students is directive in our student representation. Obviously ‘the opinion of the students’ doesn’t exist. Not all students agree with each other and it’s impossible to find one opinion that suits all students. Defending one opinion will always fail to do justice to the existing plurality. That’s the reason we don’t want that student representation happens in a vacuum. We want to involve the students in the decision we make and, in this way, we want to form a nuanced student opinion!