VMU Student Parliament: election of the chairman, discussion on issues relevant to students
At the first meeting of the newly elected Student Parliament of Vytautas Magnus University, the representatives of the faculty students elected the Chairman of the Parliament and discussed the positions of translator and secretary of the meetings. Also discussed the issues raised by the doctoral students, the extraordinary climate situation and the schedule of meetings.
Two students applied for the position of the Chairman of the Student Parliament: Žygimantas Menčenkovas and Gabrielė Jonuškaitė. The highest support (30 votes) was obtained by G. Jonuškaitė (Ž. Menčenkovas – 7 votes, abstention – 5 votes). The elected speaker of the parliament said she was well acquainted with the documents of the university and the Student Representation council that would guide her chairmanship, and would seek a constructive discussion between members of parliament based on facts and data rather than emotion.
The issue of the posts of translator and secretary was discussed at the meeting. As the sittings of the Parliament have to be translated into English, the first sitting was translated by Paulina Mišaitė, a student at Vytautas Magnus University, but a permanent interpreter is being sought for the next sittings, whose work will be paid. A similar situation exists with the secretary of meetings. The first sitting was secreted by Erika Dervinytė, the administrator of VMU SA, but the question was raised about the search for a permanent secretary of the Parliament, who would not be a member of the Parliament. Ž. Menchenkovas raised the question that the secretarial work of the meetings should also be paid.
Student representatives also discussed the canteen at Putvinskio str. 23 preparation. 2020-2021 m. Members of the student parliament worked in a working group to develop the idea and execution of the canteen. A new working group has been set up from interested student representatives to address this issue, consisting of: Emilis Starodubov, Ieva Vengrovskaja, Martynas Butkus, Emilija Drabužinskaitė, Raminta Milašiūtė.
Andrius Šmitas, the representative of doctoral students at the Vytautas Magnus University Student Parliament, raised the issue of the possibility for doctoral students to improve their foreign language skills. According to the state control, it is recommended that postgraduate students have a C1 level of English, but access to existing lectures on this subject at Vytautas Magnus University is difficult and they are not fully adapted to the highest level of study. To solve the problem, it was suggested to create separate English language teaching groups for doctoral students, or open studies could be organized at the university, but they have to be paid for. Representatives of doctoral students (Andrius Šmitas, Žygimantas Menčenkovas, Martynas Butkus, Aurelija Ramanauskaitė) are recommended to prepare a letter describing the problem and possible solutions before the next parliamentary session. It is recommended to involve the Doctoral Club in this process in order to gather more opinions from postgraduate students.
The issue of a climate emergency initiative has been raised. Before the next parliamentary session, Ž. Menčenkovas should formulate proposals, ways to implement this initiative and contribute to solving the problems of climate change and make it available to parliamentarians.
Parliamentary meetings will be held quarterly (from 8 November). The next sitting of the parliament is scheduled for January, during which the issues not discussed at this sitting, the progress of the working groups and other topical issues will be discussed.