For the 2021-2022 academic year, you have elected Yasemin Kaya as your student representative. Cheers to a new year of enhanced student welfare!
Read the manifesto of our amazing candidates for the 2021 Elections
To bring back the educational quality we had before covid it is important to introduce essential services such as practice exams for all programs and courses that reflect the difficulty level of the actual exam. Apart from that it needs to be a mandatory rule for tutors/professors to always provide clear feedback and a justification to an assignment that has been graded. Such a policy would provide more transparency to the grading system and could reveal if students were graded equally and based on the same requirements. In order to ensure the high quality of education for which UM students are paying for it is important that tutors or professors will be held accountable if they fail to meet the standards of providing services based on their endeavor. One of the most important policies to reform is the resit rule. Resits have to be possible regardless of passing or failing. A student who had passed an exam very close with a 5.5 cannot repeat the exam. Someone who fails the exam can pass it in the resit with a better grade which leads to students failing exams on purpose to better prepare for the resit to receive a better grade.
Due to the unfair circumstances created by the covid crisis and the university’s decision to continue conducting examination as it was intended before covid but with more disadvantages, students are entitled to be compensated for the damage their academic careers took. Due to the fact that most students have lower grades due to the corona disadvantages, students should receive a recommendation letter by the university to make up for the lowered grades. Professors were not paid by the university which led to the situation that professors recycled lectures from the last year, which has to stop by making it a policy to always produce new lectures each year. Some courses just cancelled practicals which has to be forbidden by setting a policy for that as well. All practicals should be done online or on site as the current measures are allowing it. Since Online practicals were of low quality such practicals have to be offered by the university after the covid crisis so that students can still make the experience necessary for their academic career.
Affordable student housing around FHML
Student housing can become more affordable and available around FHML if the faculty becomes a participant in the housing market. By establishing new property that UM rents out for UM students and by only charging enough rent to pay for the upkeep students could benefit from lower rent prices, which will affect the whole housing market. For current UM guesthouses the opportunity to renew the contract after 12 months has to be possible as well so that students can atleast live at the same place for the duration of their studies.
Proctorio must be replaced with normal pre-covid examination once fully on site exams are possible. Furthermore, Proctorio should have been and (depending on the circumstances) still needs to be replaced by different examination methods. Since we are in a pandemic it must be possible to include tutors and course coordinators into the grading process temporarily for examinations such as open book exams, Essay exams or even oral exams. Oral exams must be utilized as a third resit option for every course as it is done in many other universities. On site exams should be conducted without proctorio disadvantages (full 3 hour exam time, backtracking, no randomization etc.). Without implementing such measures UM students will have a huge disadvantage in the job market due to the university failing at showing leniency to their students.
The UM advertises itself as a diverse and inclusive university, yet we do not pay enough attention to the increasing globalization around the world. Our faculty should be increasing inclusivity by not only diverse students, but also a more diverse research and patient population. Different ethnicities, age groups and religions may react differently to treatments and sometimes need to be approached in a different way. Furthermore, globalization also means that multiple countries are working together on research, as there are different opportunities in different countries. Therefore it is needed to stimulate students to discuss these issues, by for example providing workshops, extra learning goals, symposia and varied simulation patients. .
Accessible psychological and educational support
The UM offers various programmes that can help students who need psychological or educational support. We have student psychologists, study advisors and even a well-being movement. However, these programmes and organisations often work independently from each other and the student is overwhelmed with the options and who to contact for what. Therefore, it is important to introduce an umbrella organisation UM support to get the questions of students to the correct person. The idea is that students have their first intake meeting to discuss their situation and are referred to the correct person or organisation afterwards without a further waiting list. Moreover, a lot of students do not exactly know what these organisations do, so even more advertising is needed. It needs to be clear that students not only can contact them when they have mental health problems, but also for example when they have difficulty studying or finding their own way in a new country.
Furthermore, the faculty assigns a mentor to their students to guide them. However, these mentors need to be trained properly, so they know how to advise students and who to refer them to if needed. A lot of students complain about their mentors, so by also providing the mentors with feedback it is possible to improve this system. Moreover, mentor meetings and our feedback systems should not be put in boxes or assignments, like it is currently done with the EPASS program. Students care more about filling in the cards/assignments/goals in this program, than actually talking with the mentor. Therefore this system needs to be changed in a more progressive way of mentoring, one that focuses on development rather than finishing the assignment.
Carbon neutral by 2030
Climate change is one of the most important issues of this era. We as FHML, need to set an example and be carbon neutral by 2030. These policies are already made, but should be public so we can keep them to their promises. Oftentimes, being more sustainable starts small, in this case by organic food in the cantine for a more affordable price. Furthermore, the faculty should use green energy and invest in sustainable ideas. Our students need to be educated on sustainability by again providing workshops and symposia by experts.