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Foto: Ilsoo van Dijk (UvA)

Students support striking lecturers with ‘spam action’

Henk Strikkers,
20 april 2022 - 12:34

Interdisciplinary social science students want to support the teachers who are on a marking strike. On Good Friday, they started a ‘spam action’.

“We heard about the review strike during a lecture,” says student Alison van Ophem (19, interdisciplinary social sciences). “One of our lecturers said that he was not going to mark our exams, and told us why he was taking part in the strike.” “My first reaction was that it was quite difficult for us,” Alison says. “Many students don't know yet whether they will comply with the binding study advice, and because of this they might have to wait a bit longer.”


Alison herself is still waiting for feedback on the final assignments of the previous study period. The exams for the current study period will probably not be marked either.


Good solution

She sent a WhatsApp message in the group with all first-year students. She and her fellow student Halil decided to write a letter to the dean. “In this letter we wanted to show that we support our lecturers and that we hope that the UvA can come up with a good solution for both the lecturers and the students.”


Last Friday, the students sent the letter to Dean Agneta Fischer (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences). In the letter, the students call on the dean to reduce the workload, offer permanent contracts, pay lecturers more hours and also offer lecturers with flexible contracts room for professional development. They did this in the form of a ‘spam action’: all students sent the same letter to the dean individually.


A few dozen

“Of course, we will never know exactly how many students sent the letter, but we think it was at least a few dozen,” says Alison. She has not yet received a response from Dean Agneta Fischer. She hopes there will be a response soon. “If that doesn't happen, we'll have to think about what to do next.”