All faculties scored high turnout figures in the student council elections. The CSR saw a turnout increase of 5.1 percent and two seats for both the Activist Party and UvASociaal.
In recent years, the - usually engaged - UvA student was a bit absent during student council elections. But this year, the turnout figures are decidedly rosy.
A whopping 16.1 percent of UvA students cast their votes for the Central Student Council (CSR), the UvA-wide participation body and most important measure of turnout in elections. Last year the CSR recorded a paltry turnout of 11.0 percent. The year before that, they also scored just 11.2.
Faculty councils almost everywhere also recorded an increase over last year. The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration had a turnout of 20.8 percent (last year: 12.2), the Faculty of Humanities 11.6 percent (previously: 9.4), and Social and Behavioral Sciences 17.5 percent (previously: 11.5). And at Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computer Science they registered a turnout of 15.0 (previously: 13.3), and at Dentistry even 33.8 percent (previously: 15.2).
Only the Faculty of Law lost a tenth of a percentage point compared to last year, declining from 22.0 to 21.9 percent. Still, even that faculty can be thankful for the democratic dedication of its students. In the PPLE district, with a whopping 52.6 percent of the number of PPLE students, turnout was the highest of all.
Finally, at the Faculty of Medicine, there were no elections last year. Turnout there is now 14.1 percent.
Shortly after this article was published at 17:00, the UvA central election office reported a counting error, resulting in not EnCore having two seats in the new CSR, but UvASocial. This has been corrected by the editorial board.
Encore and especially the Activist Party can crown themselves winners of the Central Student Council elections. They obtained 1,214 and 1,433 votes in the CSR, respectively, both good for two seats. The Free Student (DVS), which reigned supreme in the CSR last year with as many as three seats, has to settle for one seat, as do 020 and the Sefa Student Party. The only participating party unable to secure any seats in the CSR was Inter.
With the Activist Party now the largest in the CSR, the council gains, at least on paper, an “activist” character. The party wants to stop the alleged “destructive neoliberal politics” within the UvA. They also advocate radical democracy at the university, moving from co-determination to full student and faculty control. To what extent they can follow up on these plans remains to be seen.
This is because, it should be noted, that in addition to the seven direct seats that are now filled, there are another seven seats to be distributed in the CSR. This is done by the newly-elected faculty councils. So the composition of the CSR can still change. The chairperson of each faculty student council must notify the Central Voting Committee no later than June 16th which member will represent the student council in the Central Student Council.
The fact that the Activist Party has now obtained the most votes in elections for the CSR does not mean that they can automatically nominate the CSR chairperson. To illustrate, last year the CSR chairperson (Tessa Trapp) was from the Inter-list, which secured only one seat. Her successor will be announced later.
In the Faculty Council of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Computer Science (NWI), one seat remains unoccupied. To avoid that, LIEF, The Founding Students, and STEM had asked the Central Voting Bureau in advance to cancel this election, as there were (with the Activist Party) exactly 12 candidates for the 12 available seats.
Four of those 12 candidates were from the Activist Party, the one that thwarted the other parties’ intentions. Now, interestingly, it is the Activist Party that won only three seats. Had they given their consent to the plan, the Central Voting Committee would have presumably granted the request, and they would now have been able to take seats in the Faculty Council with four members. It shouldn’t bother them (very much) - after all, they “won” in the CSR election.