The USR regularly consults with the Executive Board (CvB). The council has important consenting and advisory powers in the fields of strategic policy, organisation, governance, financial support for students and the Student Charter. These rights ensure that the voice of students is always represented within the organisation when important decisions are taken. Members of the council also try to influence the university's policy in various ways by consulting with employees and giving their independent advice.
The council holds Public USR meetings where students can join and express their opinion on advice that will be sent by the USR to the Executive Board. The council also continuously asks students for their opinion in the Student Forum (a meeting that any student can be a member of and can take initiatives), the Presidium (a meeting with the USR and all Faculty Student Councils) and the UVO (a meeting between the USR and Study Association boards of VU Amsterdam). Finally, students can always provide input via email or Instagram.
Participation can be divided into a shared and undivided system. In a shared system there are two councils: a staff council and a student council. In an undivided system there is a council with representatives of both employees and students together. The system that a university adopts, is used both decentrally and centrally. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a shared system that includes the Staff Council (OR) and the University Student Council (USR).
The members of the OR and the USR take their seats together in the Joint Assembly (GV). As a result, the University Student Council is always involved in the important decisions that are taken at VU Amsterdam. The duties and powers of the Joint Assembly can be found in the University Joint Assembly Regulations and include, among other things, advisory rights on the annual university budget, the annual report and the annual accounts and the right of consent on the institutional plan (multi-year policy plan), the VU Board Regulations [in Dutch] and the Education Quality Plan [in Dutch]. The GV talks with the Executive Board during the Joint Consultative Meeting (GVO).