MAASTRICHT. The elections for the University Council and the faculty councils are in full swing. Voting can be done until Friday 24 May. Last year total turnout was around 33 per cent. How many students have already voted this year? Observant made a quick round.
“They just gave me a flyer,” says Law student Sadaf Bidar, pointing at the members of NovUM and DOPE who are promoting their parties outside the inner city library on Wednesday morning. She wants to vote, but isn’t sure for whom. “I haven’t read the programs yet.” Master’s student of Controlling, Antonia Luick, hasn’t made her choice yet either. “I’m planning to do it; I didn’t have the time yet. I think student representation is important – I vote every year – although it’s a pity you don’t see that much of what they actually do.”
Outside, Sarah Heller of NovUM asks students if they have voted. Both she and fellow DOPE-members have brought laptops so people can make use of their democratic right on the spot. “We’re here every day from 8:00 until 18:00hrs. Yesterday even until 21:00hrs.” Does their hard work pay off? “It’s difficult to get an idea of how many people have voted already. It depends on the faculty. Some have almost no lectures or tutorial groups planned on certain days. Between classes, it’s rush hour.” The parties are there to promote, but also to inform. “It’s easy to explain to Germans, because they often had a similar system at high school. Erasmus students can’t vote, which is difficult sometimes, because you can’t see from the outside who they are; you run the risk of people getting annoyed.”
“They haven’t cornered me yet, I expect they’ll do so in a minute,” laughs Economics student Berta Bonastre, who has just admitted that she doesn’t know how to vote. “This is my first year here at Maastricht University. I think it’s good to have student representatives, so I will vote.” Anton Hoanca, who does the master of Strategic Marketing, has already done his duty. “I voted for the blue ones, DOPE. I liked their program best. Students should be a part of university decisions.”