MAASTRICHT. Just like in all previous elections over the past four years, Dope is again the big winner. They have claimed no less than 25 of the total 47 seats and in doing so are represented in both the University Council and all faculty councils. Novum follows at a distance, with eight seats. Turnout among academic staff varied tremendously: the absolute low was at FHML, with 12.7 per cent, while at FASoS three quarters of the lecturers participated.
Dope's convincing win was due to the party's serious approach, believes Laurens Bierens, leader of the fraction in the University Council. “We are the only party with a board that works throughout the year on things like recruitment, communication and training. During an ‘introduction weekend’ all candidates, who can only be placed on the list after an interview, are trained for their duties as council member.” During the coming year in the University Council, Bierens will focus on topics such as “more student-friendly priced sandwiches in the university cafeteria and a Student Portal app”.
A striking newcomer among the students is climate party Climate Action Network; they won one seat in the University Council. The same was done by two single-person lists: Nathalie Dirks for the administrative and support staff and Jenny Schell for the academic staff. This rarely happens.
At the Faculty of Economics, one academic staff seat will remain empty for the next two years. There were only three candidates for four spaces. This mainly has to do with a lack of visibility, thinks faculty council chairperson Sanne Jongen (academic staff). “People don't really know what the faculty council actually does.” Jongen intends to make increasing that visibility “a personal objective in the coming two years. I was thinking, for example, of posting short videos on social media about what we discussed and decided in meetings.” The empty academic staff seat is unfortunate, because the administrative and support staff party will receive an extra seat from next year onwards in order to make the ratio between the two more representative.
A striking fact in the elections for FHML's faculty council was that again hardly any academic staff took the trouble to vote. The turnout rate among academic staff was a mere 12.7 per cent; in 2017, it was 13.6 per cent. How is that possible? “I think people are satisfied with how things are going,” says council chairman Pim Dassen. “In addition, there was only one party to vote for and many people at the faculty primarily use their MUMC e-mail accounts. They often don't even know there are elections.” The administrative and support staff did not have elections: they had the same number of candidates as there were seats. The students, on the other hand, turned out to a total of 33 per cent, which was above average (30 per cent).
Of all employees, the academic staff at FASoS were the most eager ones to vote. With a turnout of 75.1 per cent they were the only ones of their section to reach above 50 per cent. Two candidates ended with an equal number of votes. After drawing lots, the seat went to John Parkinson.