Elections will take place this week at the UvA for the Central Student Council (CSR). Folia talks to the party leaders with a direct mandate: Muttaneeya (Blink) Ujjin (UvA Sociaal), David Nelck (De Vrije Student) and Michele Murgia (Red UvA).
What five keywords best characterize your party?
Muttaneeya (Blink) Ujjin (UvA Sociaal): ‘Inclusiveness, diversity, accessibility, sustainability, transparency.’
Michele Murgia (Red UvA): ‘Red, activist, critical, experienced, solidarity.’
David Nelck (De Vrije Student): ‘Equality, accessibility, flexibility, sustainability, academic freedom.’
How will you encourage students to vote for your party?
Muttaneeya (Blink) Ujjin (UvA Sociaal): ‘We want to encourage fellow students to vote for us not because they like us personally, but because they agree with what we believe in and what we intend to achieve. We will hold talks about our party programme and the policies we intend to push forward.’
Michele Murgia (Red UvA): ‘We distinguish ourselves from the other parties as the only party with a strong activist attitude. Do you believe in solidarity between faculties in the fight against improving efficiency? Do you want your interestes to be represented by people with relevant experience who actually know what they’re talking about? Then Red UvA is worth your vote.’
David Nelck (De Vrije Student): ‘We work closely with study and student associations to focus on the things that really matter to every student. And we believe you shouldn’t wait for voters to come to you, but go to the voter yourself.’
What does your party hope to achieve?
Muttaneeya (Blink) Ujjin (UvA Sociaal): ‘We will continue to make the UvA more inclusive and diverse by ensuring that all information and announcements are available in both Dutch and English. Moreover, we want to promote more freedom and autonomy for both students and teachers regarding education. Examples are getting rid of unnecessary regulations and study obligations, and ensuring that all lectures are recorded.’
Michele Murgia (Red UvA): ‘We’re not going to participate in the student council. When a member of our party wins a seat, we’ll gift the money that comes with it to action groups and refugee organisations. We believe the money will be better spent than on formal student participation.’
David Nelck (De Vrije Student): ‘We want the pilot ‘flexible study’ — paying tuition fees per study point — to be available for every study programme. We want students to have a completely free choice of minor studies, and for the university to actively pursue policies to promote sustainability, such as providing more courses on sustainability and only using biodegradable coffee cups. We also want to ensure that every student has legal protection in the OER. Flex-students currently do not have full legal protection and we believe this is a bad thing. We also want a decrease in the size of work groups.’