News - March 24, 2014

Student party wants to be green and international

Linda van der Nat

There may be a new party in the running in the next student council elections. Three Independent Members of the current council are looking for candidates for a green, international party.

During their year as independent student council members, Yu Huang, Wanjun Zhao and Yang Jiang noticed that although Wageningen profiles itself as an international university, the focus in policy is still strongly on Dutch students. Yu: ‘International students do not know their way around the university, and they don’t know how the Dutch system works, like at the doctor’s surgery for instance. The university needs the input of international students.’ Exactly what the new party has in mind, Yu cannot say yet. ‘We are working on something but we first need a fully worked-out proposal.’

Another important issue for the new party is sustainability. The students want the university to invest more in clean energy and to organize better recycling of waste. Yu: ‘With a slogan like “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”, sustainability should be a goal in itself for this university.’ In order to exchange ideas, the group has made contact with the Wageningen Environmental Platform (WEP), which tried to set up a sustainable party last year. In the end only two interested candidates were found: Wanjun Zhao and Yang Jiang. Not enough for a party, but as Independent Members on the student council this past year, they have concentrated on sustainability.

The three Independent Members have now found three students willing to represent the new party in the student council. But they need at least two more, thinks Yu. ‘The three students are all Chinese. We would very much like more nationalities, and Dutch students are more than welcome as well. That way all opinions will be well represented.’

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