No elections will be held this year for the student council in Wageningen. Pulse has no candidates to nominate. Veste has now brought in eleven students for the council and there is one independent member.
This development is in fact music to Veste's ears. The party has grown rapidly in the past few years. 'But it's still a pity that there will be no elections,' says council member Rik Martens. 'A big turnout is a sign that you are really representing the students.' He also feels that it is a pity that Veste will have little counterweight within the council. 'Our target group are the active students, whereas the student council is for all students. It's also good to have a sparring partner in a party with other viewpoints.'
Next year, Veste would have to try its best to reach out to not just the active students. 'Not that this will make any difference for many issues,' thinks Martens. 'FOS (student support fund) won't change; housing is important for everyone, active or otherwise. But we will continue to lobby for exemption from tuition fees for student executives.' Furthermore, the party will make an effort to get the independent member involved in decision making.
That there will be enough student council members for next year happened by the skin of the teeth. Veste managed to bring together eleven people, while an independent member showed up at the eleventh hour. Martens: 'The financial consequences of such a fulltime executive year are difficult to gauge at present. A few candidates have dropped out because of the slow student fine. Almost none of the current candidates has any study delay.
Pulse loses its three seats in the student council, which is quite a disappointment for chairman Romy Appelman. 'It certainly is bad for the student council that no one from Pulse is on it.' But this development is understandable. Last autumn, PSF decided to join forces with the old WSO to set up a new student union and student party: Pulse. But the three PSF party leaders had to work hard. Perhaps too hard. Appelman: 'Being on the student council is certainly a fulltime job; it's difficult to run an organization at the same time. Therefore, we had to settle for less In both areas.' As such, Pulse has decided to recruit committee members for the union first. There are enough interested people, but what it needs are several Dutch-speaking students. 'We need to have at least three of them,' says Appelman. Whether Pulse will look out for office bearers for the party a year later will be decided by the new committee.
With no elections, the current student council has time to spare. Veste suggests carrying out subsidiary activities to generate more publicity. 'Furthermore, we have time on our hands to look deeper into the content,' adds Martens.