On the 19th of March 2014 the municipal elections are taking place in Rotterdam. Two students from Erasmus University College have formed a political party called Studenten Politiek 2.0. They will run for election of the gebiedscommisie in Kralingen-Crooswijk.
The two founders Koen Wies (19) and Mauro Stel (19) are currently in their first year of studying Liberal Arts and Sciences at Erasmus University College. Besides being students they also started their own political party. Wies is serious about the party’s mission. “We want to make sure that the students have a voice again in their own neighbourhood.”
Studenten Politek 2.0 also addresses international students, besides having a Dutch name. They plan on achieving that through intensive use of social media. Not only in political advertising but also to make participation during the political process possible. The 2.0 in the party’s name relates to this idea. The party does not have an internet presence yet but a website and a Facebook page is in the making. According to Wies both of these web presences should go online around the 23th of February.
Liveable for students
The goal of the party is to make Kralingen-Crooswijk more liveable for students. One issue is the distribution of bike and car parking spots. Wies explains that very few students use cars but there are still a lot of parking spots. “Most times the parking lots are actually empty and the pavements are filled with bikes.“ Studenten Politiek 2.0 want to solve this issue by increasing the number of parking spots for bikes and decreasing the number of car parking space in the district.
Studenten Politiek 2.0 is newly formed so it will be their first time to run in an election. Besides facing obstacles,Wies is optimistic about the elections. “Of course it’s the first time for us to run. So it’s really hard. But I believe that there are a lot of students that think this is a good idea and that want to be voiced and want to be heard.”
Starting small scale
According to Koen the party wants to start on a small scale but he could also imagine them to run for the city council elections in the future. “The next election will be in four years time, so we will have to see how that goes. We’ll start with Kralingen-Crosswijk first of all because that’s an area that’s actually manageable.” ET