Student Parliament meeting: Work program, study abbreviations and other issues

Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) Student Parliament meeting was held a week ago, the VMU Student Representatives (SR) Rules of Procedure, Student Work Programs, Shortening of Study Periods, VMU SR Financial Statement and Next Year’s Budget, University Canteen and “Housing for all” Initiative were discussed.

During the presentation of the revision of the VMU SR Rules of Procedure, there was a discussion on the need to include a paragraph in SR units. “There are plans, but it depends not only on the central office, but also on the people’s departments,” said SR president Paulius Vaitiekus. It was decided that the Rules of Procedure would be approved during the Reporting-Election Conference (March 12), after the necessary amendments to the document were made by the Working Group together with the Chairman of the Revision Commission Vytautas Kučinskas.

Monika Višnevska presented a revised Student Work Program project aimed at reducing the amount of student work and maintaining the quality of studies at the university. According to P. Vaitiekus, point 10 of the document, which stipulates that after the adoption of this program the parliament may not amend or repeal its individual parts or clauses, contradicts the VMU SR Statute and the Civil Code, therefore this clause has been dropped.

There was also a debate in Parliament on item 7 of the document, which describes the terms of a loan for a living. According to Ms Višnevska, at present the state-supported loans do not meet the living standards and the proposed scheme has been negotiated with economists. However, it was decided by Parliament to move item 7 to the annexes to the Work Program.

Parliament also voted to abandon the part which stipulates that the training provided for in the document can only be carried out by a trade union registered in Lithuania: any training body will be able to carry it out. Parliament unanimously voted in favor of the Student Work Program, subject to any corrections being made.

Mr. Vaitiekus introduced the issue of shortening the duration of study programs to 3.5 or 3 years, which was raised in the VMU Senate. According to Aurimas Kavaliauskas, such a study model does not comply with the principles of Artes Liberales. P. Vaitiekus raised the question of how students’ views on shortening studies could be found out. Suggestions have been made to enable Study Program Committee representatives or elders to form focus groups. Finally, it was decided that each member of the Student Parliament would comment on the matter in a letter to the President of VMU SR.

The meeting also presented a financial statement and a draft budget for the coming year, the “Housing for all” Initiative and the canteen. It was decided that a meeting with VMU administration director Jonas Okunis on the situation of the canteen would be held. The meeting will also be attended by an initiative group: Emil Staradubov, Monika Višnevska, Benas Baranovskis, Milda Gineikaitė, Ieva Vengrovskaja, Tomas Bacevičius, Tadas Juodgudis ir Paulius Vaitiekus.

A representative group of 31 students attended the meeting. Chaired by Paulius Vaitiekus, Laurynas Samajauskas of the Secretariat. The vote counting committee consisted of Aurimas Kavaliauskas, Vytautas Valaitis and Gabija Chomentauskaitė (Chair).

The next VMU Student Parliament meeting will be held on March 12th at 12pm at the VMU Small Hall. The current president will present his activity and financial reports, and a new president of VMU SR, the Board and the Revision Commission will be elected.