This meant that Heesen and No. 2 Younes Assou were far ahead of the competition. The third most successful candidate, Jasper Klasen, received nearly 150 votes less.
“I tried to use my own network at Erasmus University College and Laurentius,” said Heesen, trying to explain why his was such a successful campaign. “I do think EUC students are more likely to vote than other students. But I also think my campaign simply appealed to a lot of people.”
To the winner of the elections, the main item to be put on the Council’s agenda is how the university will deal with the consequences of the coronavirus crisis after the summer. “Not everyone is affected equally by the virus. If you live in a luxury villa, your life will be easier than if you live alone in a small apartment. The university should keep an eye on that.” Heesen does not know why so many more men than women were elected to the council. “But obviously, women being underrepresented is not a good thing.”
Afrodita Dobreva is one of two women who were elected to the council. She finished 6th, having received 185 votes. The RSM student, who hails from Bulgaria, mainly wishes to focus on improving students’ practical skills. She, too, is surprised by the small number of female councillors, although she did point out that there were fewer female candidates, as well. “And this year we had to engage in aggressive campaigns to stand out, to truly present ourselves. Maybe men are simply better at that,” Afrodita suggests.
Several students will serve a second term on the council: Younes Assou (RSM), Jasper Klasen (i.a. Erasmus MC) and Olaf Hornes (ESHCC). A fourth current councillor, Ellora Sen, finished just outside the top 12.
Thirty-six candidates stood for the council. More than four thousand students cast votes. The University Council has 24 members: twelve students and twelve members of staff. The next elections for the council’s staff representatives will be held next year.