Representative Advisory Councils

The right issues at the right table

1 Oct 2021 10:32 | Representative Advisory Councils

On 21 September, the Central Representative Advisory Council (CMR) and the Executive Board held an inspiring away day based on the new Participation and Voting Regulations. These regulations came into force on 2 February 2021. 

Among other things, the Voting Regulations state that an AUAS student may sit on both the Central Representative Advisory Council (CMR) and their own Representative Advisory Council. The Executive Board is actually not in favour of such dual membership. Nevertheless, the Executive Board agreed to the new Voting Regulations as long as the CMR ensures that issues from the individual Representative Advisory Council are not discussed at the CMR.

In practice, an individual Representative Advisory Council may decide to refer a matter to the CMR for advice, for instance because it cannot reach an agreement with the dean. How should the CMR act in such a situation? During the away day, the CMR and the Executive Board discussed this interactively on the basis of case studies. A sample case was elaborated in small groups, in which an urgent issue was put to the CMR by an individual Representative Advisory Council.

Fictitious case study: an individual Representative Advisory Council receives reports about unsafe social situations at study spaces and the workplace. After having spoken with the dean a few times, the Representative Advisory Council feels that too little is happening. The Representative Advisory Council then took the matter higher – to the CMR, asking them to discuss it with the Executive Board. What would be the CMR’s best course of action?

The discussion afterwards showed that the Participation Regulations do not always provide a clear answer to the question of where exactly a case belongs. In order to be able to take action, the CMR will develop a decision tree based on the results of the meeting. The decision tree will provide guidelines for the entire participation process, making it clear that the right issues are being discussed at the right table.