Elections University Council: little to choose from

| Rense Kuipers

Two parties for students, two for employees. There is not much choice for the voter, in the upcoming elections – 13 to 17 June – for the University Council.

Current members of the University Council, during a plenary meeting

Students can choose between two familiar parties: UReka, which has existed since 2001, and The Ambitious Student (DAS for short, founded in 2015). Both parties are currently in the University council, with respectively six seats (UReka) and three (DAS). Both have fifteen candidates on their lists.

Lack of time

In the past two years, several other parties also competed for seats. In 2020, students could also vote for Genesis and uTOP. The latter also participated in the elections last year, but failed to win a seat. This year, uTOP is not participating.

According to founder Jorg Wellink, this is mainly due to a lack of time. ‘It does not mean that uTOP does not exist anymore. The party was founded by an entrepreneur – a busy entrepreneur – and our target group consists mainly of busy, entrepreneurial, international students. Because of that busyness, it proved difficult to find candidates this election year.’

Ten candidates for nine seats

Employees also have a relatively limited choice in the upcoming elections. Currently, the nine employee seats are divided among four parties: Campus Coalitie, List P-Nut, Partij van de UT and List Weppelman. Of those four parties, only Campus Coalitie (with nine candidates) and List Weppelman (only business controller Jacqueline Weppelman) remain. In other words, there are ten candidates electable for nine seats.

Disbanding Partij van de UT

Especially the absence of the ‘Partij van de UT’ from the ballot is striking. The party will cease to exist after some fifteen years, confirms Dick Meijer, the only remaining member of the PvdUT. He himself will retire at the end of this calendar year. ‘Two years ago, when I ran candidate for one last term, we stopped putting in time and energy to recruit candidates. Other PvdUT members quit for various reasons: our last student member Vincent Witmond graduated, and staff members often quit out of disappointment with the policies regarding the Anglicization as a business model and the academic character of education.’

The university council

The University Council is the central employee participation body of the UT and has eighteen seats, divided among nine student members and nine staff members. They represent the interests of students and staff at the UT, for example when it comes to finances, facilities, central policy plans and quality of education. Every six weeks, the University Council has a public meeting with the Executive Board, where it has the right of consent, the right of advice or the right of initiative, depending on the subject under discussion.


 

Voting is possible from Monday 13 June at 9 am until Friday 17 June at noon. During that week, students and employees will receive an email with an invitation to vote. This can also be done via www.utwente.nl/vuur.