How do you hand out ice cream online? Campaign for University Council elections goes online. Photo: Facebook University Council

Four parties in the race for student seats in University Council again

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In June, UU students will be able to vote for one of four parties that already make up the current University Council, it was announced online on Monday. This means the first fully online campaign for the elections will take place without the First-Year Party.

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The upcoming student elections, then, are mostly dominated by the question of whether the current seat distribution will change. Will parties Lijst VUUR (‘FIRE party’, currently 5 seats), de Partij voor de Utrechtse Student (Party for the UU student, 4), De Vrije Student (The Free Student, 2) and – last year’s newcomer – UUinActie (UUinAction, 1) win seats or lose any? We’ll know more after UU students have voted, between June 2 and June 4.

No Barack Obama
It’s also become clear that the Eerstejaars Partij (First-Year Party) will not be running. First-year student Maths and Physics Max Chen drew attention (in Dutch, ed.) by placing Barack Obama on his list of candidates, as well as a peculiar election programme. He didn’t succeed in obtaining the necessary thirty signatures, however.

Max tells DUB that he’s joined UUinActie. He’s now a candidate for that party for a seat in the Science faculty council. “I put a lot of my energy into joining co-determination with the Eerstejaars Partij, and helping people that way. It just isn’t great to keep doing this by yourself. When UUinActie approached me, I was happy that a serious party with whom I shared the same values wanted to help me with this.”

Fully online campaign
The announcement of the party lists also means the start of the first fully online campaign for the University Council elections. For three of the four parties, the aversion to social media skirmishes was reason to call for cancellation of the elections for this year. On Monday, president of the National Election Office Fred Toppen voiced his faith in the parties. “Do not do unto others what you would not want done to yourself; I think that should be the most important rule.”

Faculty councils
Aside from the University Council elections, there will also be the opportunity to vote for the student members of several faculty councils. The faculty of Science is only holding elections for a ‘general student seat’: next to Max Chen for UUinActie, four candidates for the party Bètabelang (Science interests) are also eligible. For the other seats that are distributed per ‘district’ of the faculty, there were precisely the right number of candidates.

For Humanities, it’s the first year De Vrije Student is joining the faculty council elections. The other parties that are in the running for the seats are the current council parties Lijst VUUR and Geestwaardig (freely translated to Mind-worthy). For Social Sciences, Lijst VUUR and Actief (Active) are running against each other, just like last year. At the faculty of Law, only the economists have to vote.

Staff seats
This year, there are no elections for the staffs eats. Although several faculties had vacant seats in their councils, it looked as though a large number of employees would have to vote after all. In the end, only employees at the department of Languages, Literature, and Communication will have to vote. At that department, there are two candidates for one district seat in the Humanities faculty council. For the vacant staff seats in the faculty councils of Science, Geosciences, and the Corporate Office, there are exactly enough candidates for each vacant seat.

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