Harold Hoiting: 'I campaigned for seven days, 24 hours a day.'
As youth representative, Harold would have been invited to New York to speak on behalf of young people. Harold: 'About 50 percent of the world population is under 25. The other 50 percent decides the future for us as young people. That is strange. Young people are full of good ideas and have loads of solutions to the problems in the world and in their countries. They should be given the opportunity to say what they think, in all sorts of areas.'
Last week Harold was actively campaigning in and around the campus. 'I campaigned for seven days 24 hours a day. I promoted myself on Facebook and Twitter, I hung up posters in student houses, talked to students in the lunch hour in the Forum and went along to parties. Partly to campaign and also to relax a bit.'
Harold was competing with five other ambitious candidates but he thought his chances were pretty strong. 'I already have a lot of experience. During my studies I carried out international projects and held presentations. I also went to South Africa for a student challenge to brainstorm with Dutch and South African youth on how to solve the water problems in Africa. Unfortunately it was not enough.'
'All we could'
Harold was beaten in the race by Amsterdam student Martijn Hagoort, and Rotterdam student Anika Ruisch also still stands a chance of getting to the UN in New York. 'I am a bit disappointed although I did see it coming. I was already behind at the interim stage. I really wouldn't want to change places with Anika now, though. Then I would have to face the tension for another week. But it is a pity. Luckily my brother called me straight after I had been phoned to say I hadn't made it. He had campaigned for me actively in Groningen and he gave me the feeling we had done everything we could.'
But Harold is not the type to give up easily. 'I am a doer and I know where I want to go. I will keep going in the direction I have started in. I am going to continue organizing the masterclasses on international collaboration because I think it can help us tackle global problems. I also hope that later I can find a project in which I can involve young people more in the water sector, because that would relate nicely to my degree subject.'