Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie
The turnout of the ‘minor’ university elections – only students and department councils –was lower than last year. DOPE, the student party that came out as the big winner with 23 seats, and NovUM (total 15 seats) blamed the low turnout on the voting problems during the first two days of the election week in the middle of May.
The sound of cheering and drumming on the table filled the Kruithuis last Thursday afternoon just after four o’clock. DOPE followers raised their hands when it became clear that their party had won not five seats, like last year, but six seats on the university council. This was at the expense of NovUM, who lost one seat and now has three. DOPE also won an extra seat at the law faculty (at the expense of Ouranos), and at Health Medicine and Life Sciences, at the expense of NovUM. The latter, in turn, gained an extra seat at Psychology and Humanities & Sciences, leaving them with one seat less than last year: 15.
According to Gouw and Evers, the lower turnout almost across the board - except for FHML, who had a rise of 1 per cent, while turnout figures plummeted at Law, Humanities & Sciences and the School of Business and Economics – should be attributed in part to the fact that the voting procedures did not work properly during the first two days of the election week in the middle of May. Vice chairman of the polling committee, Hans van Mierlo, refers to the comments by Gouw and Evers as “nonsense. There was only a problem with the 150 students from the Transnational University Limburg. They all received a personal e-mail informing them that they could still vote. There were no more problems with registration after that. Students who supposedly had problems the first few days, still had plenty of time to vote during the rest of the week. DOPE and NovUM should stop splitting hairs and shouting comments that can only be regarded as pure speculation and cannot be proved. There will be an investigation by the university into the entire election process, so everyone can have their say.”