Science - April 27, 2006

No student council elections in 2006

Elections for the student council will not be held this year. The fractions could not find enough students who were prepared to stand as candidates. They have therefore agreed to retain the same distribution of seats as at present and hope to fill the open seats in the coming months.

The deadline for submitting the lists of candidates was 19 April. On that date however, the three student council fractions had between them only nine official candidates for the twelve seats available. The student council regulations state that, if there are not enough candidates, no elections need to be held. Normally speaking, the elections would be held at the end of May.

The fractions are disappointed and say they have done everything they can to find enough candidates. VeSte in particular is having a hard time. At present the fraction has five seats, but could only come up with three candidates for next year, none of whom is Dutch. President of VeSte, Anne Marie Kortleve: ‘That is of course a strange situation really. VeSte was set up to represent the three big student associations (Ceres, KSV and SSR, Ed.). Now that they can’t find enough representatives, we’ll have to see how we are going to proceed. Next week we’ll have a brainstorming session with leaders of the associations. It’s pretty drastic to say we have to start thinking about disbanding the fraction, but we can’t continue like this.’

It is not the first time that elections will not take place. Four years ago there were also too few candidates. That time round the fractions agreed that they would give themselves until the summer to find the four extra candidates needed. Now the strategy is to maintain the current spread of seats. VeSte and the Christian student fraction CSF have until 2 June to come up with five and two candidates respectively. The progressive student fraction PSF has already got five candidates.

The fractions will raise the issue during discussions about the future of the joint representative advisory bodies within Wageningen UR. PSF fraction chair, Sarah Smits: ‘We are reviewing other systems anyway because of legislative changes in higher education and research. Maybe it’s time for a new system. I don’t think a part-time student council is the answer, but fewer members might be a solution.’ / JH

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