Dormitory councils: much needed assistance and own ideas brought to life

Preferential treatment in applying for dormitories or advance information on the operation of the dormitories and canteens; those are just two of the benefits of membership in dormitory councils. The Accommodation and Catering Services (ACS) will announce new elections within days of the start of the new academic year.

15 Sep 2023

Dormitories at Vinařská, Mánesova, Sladkého and Bří Žůrků saw their last extraordinary dormitory council elections in April 2023. As there were no candidates these dormitories currently do not have their councils elected. “A dormitory council is a body which represents students in their relations with the university and the Accommodation and Catering Services (ACS). This way students can influence the operation of their dormitory. It is an important form of feedback and an opportunity for open communication. It also gives us the students’ point of view on where improvements are necessary when it comes to accommodation,” says ACS director Kamil Kulíšek, adding that he meets with council members of a regular basis to address pressing issues at individual dormitories.

The link between students and ACS

Members of the councils, of which there are usually three, serve as main representatives of the student tenants. Any member of a dormitory council can request from ACS information regarding organisational issues at his or her dormitory, or they can forward complaints from students regarding the operation of the dormitory. In turn, they are privy to information, in advance, regarding renovations, repairs and reduced operations, changes to prices or the operation of canteens.

The rights and responsibilities of council members are governed by the electoral rules and rules of procedure. “Dormitory councils are a link of sorts between ACS and students staying at the respective dormitory. As the director of ACS holds regular meetings with council members, they have access to key information. Not only that; councils cater to the needs of students directly whenever there is an issue that has to be addressed or changed. And if a student has an idea on what could be improved he or she can contact a council member. And if some shared resources need to be replenished, the council will make a list and decide on the purchase of these resources at the nearest meeting with the management – through ACS or from the dormitory budget,” says member of the Veveří dormitory Andrej Jankola.

Nets against pigeons or movie nights

In addition to addressing technical and formal issues, dormitory councils can organise a variety of activities for students. “We have annual Halloween parties and regular movie nights at our dormitory,” Jankola says. “Last year the efforts of the council resulted in the eviction of a problematic student, or the installation of nets against pigeons, a whiteboard in the common area or the replacement of mattresses in some rooms. Complimentary feminine hygiene products are available at each floor thanks to the efforts of the council,” Jankola explains.

Go for it!

All heads of dormitory councils encourage other students to become involved. “There is nothing to be afraid of. You meet many new people; you gain some valuable experience and you learn to communicate. Plus it is a good feeling to be useful. If the opportunity is here, go for it,” says head of the Klácelova council Dominika Dolinová, fifth-year student of applied maths at the Faculty of Science.

Dormitory council elections are announced within four weeks of the start of a new academic year, with the dates announced on the message board and website of ACS at least two weeks in advance. These elections are organised by the current members of the council who accept applications and prepare the process as a whole. Where there is no board from the previous academic year the accommodation department of ACS shall organise the procedure. This year no elections will take place at the Kounicova dormitory due to its scheduled two-year renovation.

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