For the fourth year in a row, the Groninger Studentenbond (Groningen Students’ Union) has created an English-language version of its electoral guide for the University of Groningen council elections.
Translation by Matthijs van Houten
The elections for the RUG’s University Council will be held this week from the 13th through the 17th of May. The “uraad”, which meets with the board of directors of the university throughout the academic year to discuss and vote on university policy, consists of 24 members: twelve students elected by their fellow students each year, and twelve staff members elected to represent university staff every other year.
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that five student parties are taking part in the elections this year – Democratische Academie Groningen (DAG), Studenten Organisatie Groningen (SOG), Lijst Calimero, De Vrije Student and International Platform.
The Students’ Union guide aims to help students decide which party best represents them. “With the electoral guide, we want to ensure that people get a better understanding of the different positions of the parties so that they can make a conscious choice,” says Jolien Bruinewoud, chairman of the Groningen Student Union. The electoral guide discusses important themes on which the parties disagree, such as housing, the internationalization of the university and flex studying.
According to Bruinewoud, the turnout percentage has not been very high in recent years. “With the electoral guide, we want to try to ensure that people can gain insight into the various points of view of the parties in a quick and easy way. A party recommendation is given based on the student’s responses.” The GSb hopes that the guide will encourage students to cast their vote, which will in turn help them to be more invested in the University Council and university policy.