News - May 27, 2015

S&I wins seat in Student Council elections

Rob Ramaker

Student party Sustainability & Internationalisering (S&I) has snatched a seat from VeSte in the Student Council elections.Although the electoral commission has spoken of irregularities during voting, the election results will stand.

On the Student Council next year VeSte will have seven seats, S&I three seats and CSF two seats. Although S&I has won a seat, there will be no change to the distribution of seats compared with last year. Back then, VeSte relinquished a seat because the party could not find a suitable candidate for the eighth position on its list of candidates. As a result, last year S&I sat on the council with three representatives while only two seats had been won. The turnout this year was 35.11 percent as compared to 35.4 percent last year.

Rector Kropff announced the election results during the lunch break in Forum. In his speech, Kropff took a moment to address the commotion that arose during the campaign when it turned out that potential voters were being enticed with the prospect of a brand new laptop. Of the three parties, only VeSte supports this approach. The electoral commission was divided about this tactic, said Kropff, but eventually decided to let the election results stand. A thorough evaluation is intended to ensure that the discussion does not arise again next year.

The three party leaders are satisfied. An excellent solution, says Anne Walther (S&I). ‘It is too late now anyway to change anything procedural.’ Walther hopes that the campaign period and the election itself are kept more strictly separate. Party leader Nick van Nispen (VeSte) continues to believe that there is nothing wrong with the current approach to winning votes. ‘But this is a great solution and we are keen to come to an agreement with the other parties.’

Everyone is also happy with the election results. ‘We put a lot of effort into our campaign and are now much stronger than we were last year,’ says Anne Walther, S&I party leader. Wiard Ligterink (CSF) is pleased that his party has tightened its grip on the two seats it currently holds. ‘Of course you hope for three seats.’ VeSte party leader Nick van Nispen’s main aim was for his party to stand its ground in the face of its two growing rivals. We managed that, he says. ‘A huge compliment to our grassroots support and everyone else who helped us.’

Student politics in Wageningen have become more dynamic in recent years. Elections were not held in 2012 due to a lack of candidates. Moreover, there was just one student party – VeSte. In 2013 the ball started rolling again and a couple of independent representatives put themselves forward as candidates. 2014 saw the launch of two new parties: S&I and CS.