A new party – Connect Wageningen – has been founded under the leadership of Mark Reijerman, a student of Nutrition and Health. From 2018 the party wants to see the young people, students and international residents of Wageningen better represented on the municipal council.
Mark Reijerman, photo: Sven Menschel
The founders of Connect Wageningen see too few young council members among the established parties. ‘To become a candidate with a chance of being elected in those parties you have to have been active for a long time and achieved a lot. Most young folk in Wageningen haven’t had the chance to do that yet,’ says Reijerman. He is currently a council member for the City Party. This position gives him plenty of scope to opt for a new route in the elections of March 2018. Connect Wageningen believes that the current shortage of young people on the council leads to inadequate policies. ‘The issue of isolation among international residents of Wageningen doesn’t even get a mention in the social policy,’ says Reijerman. ‘Whereas every international student I talk to agrees that this is a problem.’ Connect Wageningen also feels people have too little say on issues of sustainability. Reijerman: ‘The sustainable student organizations don’t get drawn in at all. We shall actively seek discussion with these people.’
Apart from better representation of young people in the municipal council, the party has not formed any substantial positions yet. Nor is the list of candidates ready. Connect Wageningen intends to use the coming period for discussions with other student and youth organizations.