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Not enough UC candidates for an election: ‘very disappointing’

The 10 student candidates running for the university’s highest representative body are…

Shang and Vellanki won their seats by a landslide, receiving 170 and 151 votes, respectively. Hayat and Klasen needed 93 and 79 votes, respectively, to hold off the competition. And make no mistake about it – there was a fair bit of competition this time round, with no fewer than 11 candidates missing out on a seat.

This is surprising, because those same seats were up for grabs by whoever showed an interest in them in the first round of voting, held last April. At the time, there were only seven candidates for the twelve council seats available to students. (There were initially ten candidates, but three candidates later withdrew from consideration.) As a result, no elections were held, as all candidates were automatically elected to the Council. Chairwoman Aleid Barmentlo called it ‘very disappointing’ at the time.

Geen mandaat

One of the students previously appointed to the council, philosophy student Florian Wijker, feels it is bad for the Council that he and six others were able to join the Council without having been given a mandate to do so. “This means that the Council is not the slightest bit representative. I don’t have to answer to anyone, because I never had to make anyone any promises. That’s a bad thing.”

He is very happy to be getting five colleagues who were properly elected to their seats. “It indicates that students are interested, after all. I feel the university should take a good, hard look at the timing of the elections. It’s entirely possible that students don’t start thinking about what they are going to do with the next academic year until later in the year.”

The University Council is comprised of twelve students and twelve members of staff. The members of staff are also appointed through elections, but their elections are held on the individual faculty level. The Council will have its first formal meeting in late September.