Party for internationals gives up seat in BSS faculty council

Party for internationals gives up seat in BSS faculty council

After more than three months, the empty student seat in the Behavioural and Social Sciences faculty council has been filled. But not by the party that won the seat. Daan van Gulik, the faculty council’s vice-chairperson, explains.
27 January om 14:10 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 27 January 2020
om 14:11 uur.
January 27 at 14:10 PM.
Last modified on January 27, 2020
at 14:11 PM.


Thijs Fens

Door Thijs Fens

27 January om 14:10 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 27 January 2020
om 14:11 uur.
Thijs Fens

By Thijs Fens

January 27 at 14:10 PM.
Last modified on January 27, 2020
at 14:11 PM.
Thijs Fens

Thijs Fens

Freelancejournalist
Volledig bio
Freelance journalist
Full bio

The seat won by STUN (Student United) has been taken over by PSB. Isn’t that deceiving the voters?

‘If you put it like that, sure. But you could also say that standing as a candidate who wants to represent international students and then not turning up is deceiving them even more. I think this can be seen as the lesser of two evils.’

Why did the previous student member quit?

‘The student was an international from STUN, the party representing internationals. We realised that he had trouble participating in the meetings. That’s why he didn’t always show up. The same thing happened last year, so we’d been having a conversation with him in the hopes that he’d be more motivated this year.’

‘But earlier this academic year he said that he wasn’t able to do it anymore. I had a talk with him and together we decided that we’d look for a different international for the council.’

You’d think he knew what he was getting into?

‘You would. But I understand where he’s coming from. The meetings are all in Dutch. We’ve tried to have them in English, but it just didn’t work out. His studies were also taking up a lot of his time. I told him I thought it was great he was on the council, but that it couldn’t go on like this. We reached this decision.’

How did the process of switching the seat go?

‘We made sure to really talk about it with STUN. We didn’t just ask them if we could take their seat. First, we asked if they couldn’t just come to the meeting, but that was not going to happen. It was a shame, because it does waste the students’ vote.’

We asked them how they would feel if we looked for a representative international student in our party. They were fine with it. Next, we went to the central polling committee, to see if this was actually allowed. It’s unusual, but it was okay.’

All this happened back in September. It took you guys until January to find a replacement. Why did it take so long?

‘Finding a new student member was really difficult. We had a lot of interviews, and it’s not an easy decision for the student, either. It was also an unusual procedure, since we weren’t having any elections for the position. We underestimated the search a little. Turns out it’s pretty difficult to explain to students what the council does exactly.’

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