VeSte won the student council elections for 2014 with a clear majority of eight seats. Newcomers S&I and CSF each gained two seats.
Foto: Rob Goossens
‘We stood there beaming when the results were announced,’ says VeSte leader Soline de Jong. ‘We had been conservative in our forecasts: five, maybe six seats. We didn’t expect this.’ Besides De Jong, VeSte will be represented on the council by Rogier Eldering, Tjerna Ellenbroek, Karel Brasser, Robin van der Bles, Jelske de Kraker, Sander Schalkx and Kim Duintjer. Duintjer was on the VeSte list to boost the campaign, without intending to sit on the council. With 1862 votes, VeSte ended up with enough support for an eighth seat, but Duijntjer will stand down for another candidate.Si Zhou and Charles El-Zeind will represent the newly formed Sustainability & Internationalization (S&I) party on the council. Party leader Zhou has ‘mixed feelings’ about the results. ‘On the one hand, I am happy that we managed to get two seats. On the other hand, I think it’s a pity that the other candidates will not be on the council.’ S&I got a total of 597 votes.
The Christian Student party (CSF) is pleased with the results. Leader Jordi van Kleeff is happy with the 380 votes they got, and, thanks to an unassigned seat, will join Jan-Willem Kortlever on the council. ‘Apparently there is enough support for a Christian voice within our university,’ says Van Kleef. ‘I m very curious how the collaboration with the other parties will go.’ VeSte is positive about the prospect of collaborating with CSF and S&I: ‘That way you prevent the formation of a mo-nopoly,’ says party leader De Jong.
The emergence of two new parties seemed to attract new voters, because the turnout of 35.4 percent was more than 10 percent higher than that of 2013. By way of comparison: the turnout at the University of Amsterdam this year was only 20 percent. Around the middle of June, it will be made known who will chair the student council. According to rector magnificus Martin Kropff, the council is heading for a challenging year. ‘Student numbers will go up considerably next year. This will mean more responsibility for the student council,’ he says. ‘And besides, the new strategic plan has to be evaluated this year.’