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Bureaucracy

Almost half the students who visit the Netherlands from outsidethe European Union experience serious delays before they can getdown to work. A survey commissioned by 'Nuffic' revealed thatresidence permit applications sometimes take nine months toprocess, when it should take three weeks. Dutch embassies inSurinam, China, Eastern Europe and various African countries arethe chief culprits. They have an unfriendly attitude to applicantsand force misleading information and uncalled-for extra conditionsupon them. Things also go wrong in the Netherlands. Regional boardsapply their own sets of rules. Bureaucracy also appears to dog thelives of lecturers and researchers. Job Centers first want to seean Immigration and Naturalization residence permit before issuing awork permit. In a Catch 22 situation, Immigration andNaturalization requires a work permit before they will part with aresidence permit.

The election campaign for 12 new student seats on the 2000-2001University Council is in full flight. Ballot papers have beenposted to students' home addresses and they can vote until May 19.Four parties are in the running: the University Consultation Organ(UOO), Brug, Oeps (12 candidates each) and the Peace Party withjust a single candidate. The campaign needs to persuade students tovote and to highlight genuine differences between the parties. Butstudents are not fond of voting as a pastime. Last year'selections, required after two years had elapsed, produced just a 12percent turnout after 21,020 ballot papers were posted. Interestdoesn't seem much higher this year. A lackluster election debateattracted just 30 interested parties.

Free

Candidates laboring at the Educatorium's coming exams can expecta free cup of coffee or tea. Ten exams given by various majorfaculties will serve as trials to find the best way of serving thefree beverages. Evaluation will determine which method creates theleast disturbance and then all students will be treated to coffeeor tea during their exams. The experiment is the University Board'sway of honoring a request from the student delegation to theUniversity Council.