Seats on the University Council have been going back and forth between the student groups Groep-één and the Eindhoven Student Council for years now, although Groep-één has always won the most votes. This time around a new party has stepped up and will be making itself heard from the get-go with two seats.
In the movie theater of the Zwarte Doos yesterday, the members of DAS Eindhoven did nothing to conceal their joy when the provisional results were announced by Andy van Eggelen, chairperson of the Central Electoral Committee. Even so, DAS's success in snatching two seats from incumbent parties was pretty unexpected.
Pauline Offeringa, Bachelor's student at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, and Judith te Selle, Bachelor's student of Sustainable Innovation, will be the first representatives to take up seats on the University Council on behalf of DAS Eindhoven. Offeringa says she realizes that council work is going to take up a considerable slice of her time, “but I have already organized my studies so that I'll soon have that time available. Of course, Judith and I are both new to all this, but we have recently spent a lot of time talking to experienced members of the other factions in order to gain a good impression of what awaits us.”
Real administrative experience is something that neither brand new University Council member yet has. Offeringa: “No, neither I nor Judith has ever been board members of a study or social association. But I have sat on a couple of committees.”
Yoram Meijaard, Bachelor's student of Software Science and Groep-één's leading representative, says she is keen to adopt a wait-and-see approach to the arrival of this new party on the University Council. “We're a little concerned about the number of new student members on the Council who as yet have no experience of the council's work and lack the kind of network that can offer good support. But as I said, we'll first see how things go in the coming months.”
Staff faction PUR
With the election of Anton Darhuber representing the staff faction PUR, the University Council gains a professor for the first time in a long while. The last professor who held a seat was Herman Beijerinck, like Darhuber a member of the Department of Applied Physics. Darhuber has held the position of professor at TU/e since 2007 and says that in his capacity as Council member he is keen to help consider how the university “can manage the coming challenges in an effective yet flexible manner”. He is chiefly interested in the financial committee and the university's allocation of budgets. In 2018 a successor to the current Strategic Allocation Model (SAM) will be developed, ready for implementation in 2019.
The downward trend in votes cast for the employee candidates in the elections, held on December 5 and 6, continued this year. In 2012 the turnout was as high as 41.5 percent, in 2015 it dropped to nearly 37 percent, and this year it reached just 30.7 percent.
It was a similar picture for the student elections, which are likewise held every year. The turnout declined: last year it was almost 41 percent, now 35.3 percent. In 2012 the turnout was as high as 47.6 percent. Chairperson Andy van Eggelen has suggested that Sinterklaas celebrations may have had something to do with this. He said he would raise the matter with the Executive Board in an effort to avoid this clash in future.