Every year, the University Council (UC) of the University of Twente receives a new student section, consisting of a total of nine members from the parties DAS, UReka and the Party of the UT (PvdUT). They start at the end of August, around the beginning of the new academic year. To determine who may take place in this council, elections are held. These elections can be compared in many ways with the elections for the National House of Representatives: each party campaigns to ensure that they get as many votes as possible. Every student who is registered at the university can vote (online) in (usually) the last week of May. In 2018, the elections are on Monday the 28th of may from 9:00 am till Friday the 1 first of June at 12:00.
The main reason that we, as University Council, want to have the highest possible turnout is legitimacy. The UC represents the UT population and the student section specifically represents the UT student population. We can only do this when enough students feel that we are the right people to represent you. When, theoretically speaking, there is only a 1% turnout, this means that the UR members who are elected are not really a representation of the student population. That partly goes beyond the goal of the UC and of course we do not want that.
Even if you do not agree with the views of one or more of the existing parties, it is still better that you vote. Just like with the House of Representatives, you can also cast a blank vote. This indicates that you do care about what happens to education at the UT, but that you do not want specifically one of the parties to represent you.
Why do we want to represent the student population? Because we want the education to be improved, that students can still do things besides their studies and because we want the future of the UT and therefore the students to look bright. Suppose the Executive Board has a wild plan to double the length of the Horst Tower. However, such initiatives cost so much money that we, as a representative body at the highest level, must give our approval. The different parties can have different views on this, for example that it is a good investment because there are more study places, or that it is not a good investment because that money can better go to sports facilities.
The UC deals with this type of decisions. Decisions that have a big influence on everyday life at our university. We as university council hope to keep representing you as students the following year, and the only way to do that is by voting. So please cast your vote and choose the party that suits your ideals best!