- Peter Pelzer
Law Faculty Council elections 2021: all the parties, all the programmes, all the networks
The Faculty Council of the law faculty is up for re-election between the 17th and 20th May. The Faculty Council has twelve members, six of which are student representatives. The student representatives are elected each year by the student body of the faculty. The Faculty Council has the power to block amendments to the faculty regulations and to the teaching and examination regulations. Furthermore, it can address proposals to the Faculty Board, headed by the dean Prof. Jan Smits, on all matters concerning the faculty.
Students are also represented in the faculty’s library and programme committees, but these student representatives are appointed by the faculty board. Only the Faculty Council representatives are elected by the students. Further possibility for student engagement are the General Student Assemblies which were organised for the first time this year. There, all students enrolled at the faculty have the opportunity to exchange opinions with their elected representatives.
This year, five lists are competing for votes:
List 1 – KAN Party Law
List 1 is the KAN Party with three candidates striving for ‘climate justice and a socially and environmentally committed university’. The KAN Party is a coalition of Maastricht-based organisations working on a variety of environmental matters, in the university, but also in the city life. Next to sustainability, the candidates want to promote social justice, anti-racism, and diversity in the law faculty. KAN has not been represented in the Faculty Council during the last year, but has had two representatives in the University Council, who have, among other things, advocated a reform of the Sustainable UM 2030 Taskforce.
Read more about the KAN Party in our interview with Freddy Leppert, this year’s frontrunner for KAN at the University Council.
List 2 – LEX
List 2, LEX, is the election list of the law student association JFV Ouranos. For the Faculty Council, LEX is running independently, but for the university-wide University Council elections, it has teamed up with SHAPE, a party based in FHML and FPN. LEX and SHAPE focus on quality of education, student wellbeing, communication and transparency, study facilities, community feeling, and sustainability. The first four of these priorities are explained in detail in the LEX manifesto. The General Student Assembly, which was held for the first time in February, was one of last year’s campaign promises and has been realised upon the initiative of the two incumbent Ouranos representatives.
List 3 – United Students of Maastricht (USM) - LAW
List 3 is the list of the United Students of Maastricht (USM), a relatively recent addition to Maastricht University’s political scene founded by international students. In its election programme, USM puts a special emphasis on the international culture of Maastricht, but also addresses student wellbeing and sustainability.
Moritz Takacs, leading USM candidate for the University Council, told the MD about how he founded his party and established it in the councils.
The USM candidates for the Faculty Council want to improve the mental health support and create an inclusive and welcoming climate at the faculty. The second-placed candidate emphasises that she, as a Montenegrin woman who went to a Swiss boarding school, will make the Faculty Council a more diverse institution.
List 4 – MSRP DOPE
On list 4, the candidates of DOPE are running, one of Maastricht’s oldest and largest student political parties. Its election programme for the next year is focussed on the quality of education at the law faculty. DOPE aims, among other things, at convincing the faculty that students should receive individualised feedback on assessments. Also, they want to limit the amount of books that students need to buy as mandatory course material.
More on DOPE in our interview with Rozemarijn Kahle, the party’s public relations manager.
List 5 – NovUM FoL
List 5 unites the candidates of the student political party NovUM and the Maastricht chapter of the pan-European Volt party. After Volt was not able to secure a seat on the University Council last year, they teamed up with NovUM for the upcoming elections. Both parties are styling themselves as progressive. In their programme, the NovUM candidates advocate for more effective feedback and more equitable assessment methods. Among other things, they propose to abolish the gambling factor in multiple choice exams. NovUM has also repeatedly criticised proctoring.
NovUM's vice president and current FHML representative Ena Škrijelj talked about her party's vision in an interview with the MD.
Volt’s highest placed candidate, on #4 of the NovUM list is equally concerned with meaningful feedback for students from their tutors and good communication between students and the faculty. He criticises Proctorio and, what is more, he wants to have the piano in the faculty cafeteria moved to a different location. Whether that is because the other location would be a better place for fantasising on the instrument or it is an unbearable nuisance in its current location is not expanded on.
Read what Volt City Lead and leading candidate for the SBE Faculty Council Konrad von Klitzing told the MD about his party and Maastricht's political culture.