You can vote for the University and Faculty Advisory Boards. An online rush of voters is not anticipated: just 22 per cent of the over 23 thousand EUR students felt it necessary to do this last year. Per faculty during the 2015 elections this lay between 7.56 (RS) and 15.97 per cent (FSW).

In three faculties, voting isn’t even necessary; the number of applicants in these faculties is lower or equal to the number of available seats. ESHCC students don’t even have a choice: not one single student was prepared to stand as candidate. Students entitled to vote can do this online until 27 April. The turnout: EM talked with enthusiastic voters and students who are not going to vote. What are their reasons?

Jan Radermacher (22), student of Econometric, Econometrics, Economy and Business Economics, is going to vote


“I was in the University Advisory Board two years ago. I was mainly involved in ‘the backroom politics’, something that does exist in the university world, and the foundation of the successful Erasmus Language Sharing project. Not all my colleagues in the board were so enthusiastic about it. For three-quarters of them, the fee turned out to be a perverse incentive, which is an incredible shame, because you are really listened to. I would like to offer someone else the opportunity and that’s why I voted.”

Maxime de Winter (22), student Psychology, is going to vote


“A friend of mine has decided to stand as candidate for the Faculty Advisory Board. I’ve already voted for her, but not yet for the University Advisory Board. As education commissioner in my faculty association, I see how important it is to be involved in university policy. An involved student can actually directly influence the way in which his or her study is taught. The majority of students are unaware of this, and this also explains the low turnout at the university advisory board elections. They hear the word ‘U Council’ come up now and then, but they’re mostly unaware of what this council actually means for students. If there was more personal contact between council members and students, there could be more enthusiasm for this. I did consider putting myself forward as candidate. I’m now sorry that I didn’t do that.”

Jeroen Belderok (23), master’s student of Business Law, will not be voting


“The last time I voted for the University Advisory Board was in my third year. If I’m honest I couldn’t say whether the candidate was elected in the end. I’m now in my sixth year at this university and I’ve more or less seen it all. So I’m not going to vote. If I vote, I want to have read up on this thoroughly and I’ve not done that. The university and its communication channels pay little attention to the elections and students don’t feel very much involved in the university’s policy.”

Mel Schickel (25), student History, will not be able to vote


“I would like to vote, but can’t because there are no candidates on my faculty’s list. As member of the Faculty Advisory Board I find that a real pity. It was actually our task to find a successor to the current representative. We were not successful in this and this was partly to do with the time that you have to spend in the University Advisory Board over the year. What’s more, students today are only at the same university for around three years. By the time you’ve realised that things can be done differently, you’re studying in another city. Giving students a voice in university policy is good, but I also see it as a bargaining chip. We’re given more voice, while at the same time there are huge cutbacks in our education. More voice for less education. As students, are we actually part of the academic world or are we seen more as customers in the eyes of the administrators?”

Frank Smitshoek (24), master’s student of Labour Law, will be voting


“I voted for the person that I trust the most. That is Koen Olivier, who I know well because of my work at the Legal Faculty Association. All candidates want the same thing and there’s nobody with any really original views. Giving lectures online for example; this has been a stance of university advisory board candidates since I started studying. And yet I will be voting. If you don’t vote you achieve absolutely nothing. The slow university structure and the dull character of the University Advisory Board mean that few students put themselves forward as candidate, never mind vote. A big promotional campaign and giving candidates the opportunity to pitch their ideas could improve the image. All that spam on Facebook is just a waste of time.”

Are you following a study programme at Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam School of Management or the Faculty of Social Sciences? You can still vote for the University and Faculty Advisory Board until Thursday 28 April: