UT gave students’ numbers to an external company, Council is enraged

| Stan Waning

The UT has asked an external company to call students to conduct surveys, much to the dismay of the University Council. Many students did not understand that the company was calling on behalf of the UT. They also felt it was an invasion of their privacy.

Marketing & Communication (M&C) department recently conducted two surveys via e-mail. One was sent out to freshmen, the other directed to students in their second year and higher. The response to those surveys was hugely disappointing. To do something about this, M&C outsourced the surveys to an external company. Students were approached by telephone, much to the dissatisfaction of the University Council. ‘It may not officially be a privacy violation, but for many students it felt that way. Moreover, they did not understand that the company was calling on behalf of the UT,' stated Jaime de Bruin (UReka).

‘This doesn't deserve any prizes,’ admitted Vinod Subramaniam. ‘Reaching students is a big problem for us. We try everything, even vlogs and podcasts, but we struggle to succeed. Tell us: how can we do this better?', the President of the Executive Board asked the council.

Tim Achterkamp, De Bruin's fellow party member, suggested promoting questionnaires during lectures in order to boost the numbers. ‘Have a lecturer alert students to the survey five minutes before the break, asking them to complete it because it is very important to the UT.’ Wilma Dierkes (Campus Coalition) also advocated decentralization. ‘Seek help from associations. Or find a representative group that can function as a kind of panel to benchmark an opinion.'

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