From the 16th to the 19th of May, Maastricht University holds online elections for the University’s Council. These elections are open to anyone in the UM student body, as the elected council members are supposed to represent the general student body. This differs from specific faculty elections in which voting is restricted to members within the faculty. The University Council serves to give advice to the Executive Board of the university in important decisions that affect the student body. If you want to know more about the University Council, read up on our Student Politics 101 and in the Observant’s election gazette.
This year, there are ten seats up for grabs and four lists of candidates to choose from. There are no independent candidates running and the lists correlate with specific parties. Many of the common threads this year in the party's programmes have to do with sustainability, the Maastricht housing crisis, and improving mental health services.
List 1 – LEX
Like last year, collaborating with the student party SHAPE. SHAPE is associated with the health facilities while LEX is affiliated with the Law student association Ouranos. Last year they won 1 seat. Their main goals revolve around improving the community feeling of UM, combatting the housing crisis, making student representatives more reacher to the wider community, improving mental health services, and making UM more sustainable. A lot of their plans also relate to the quality of the education in the law faculty as well as the wider UM education. They want to improve communication within their faculty as well as the facilities.
List 2 – NovUM
The NovUM party has become increasingly popular in recent years. Last year, they won seats in every single council and had an outstanding election season. They pride themselves on being international, “inNOVative”, and progressive. They have ambitious goals such as implementing a sustainability minor in every faculty, improving healthcare and support for international students, and want to improve the housing situation. They also want to help guide UM to become carbon neutral.
List 3 – DOPE
DOPE is one of the biggest student parties in Maastricht. Last year, they won seats in all but one Faculty Councils and five seats on the University council. Their main goals include student well-being, limiting excessive resource use, accessible and affordable student housing, free language courses, flex studying, and digitalization. This year, DOPE is focusing on the side effects of the pandemic on student life. This includes addressing mental health issues in our university and providing concrete help. This also includes helping to solve major stressors of students such as the housing crisis and financial situations.
List 4 – KAN & USM
The last list to discuss with an extensive list of candidates is KAN & USM. KAN had two representatives last year in the Council and is a rapidly growing party in Maastricht. USM is a newer party with similar ideals as KAN, hence the merger.
The biggest part of the party's platform revolves around sustainability and social responsibility. They want to work on bringing sustainability platforms to every faculty as they have accomplished with FASOS. They also want to adjust the curriculum of every program with the environment and equality in mind. They are founded on principles of collaboration and transparency and want to focus on the wellbeing of students as well.
KAN & USM have been very busy this year in and out of the University Council. The representatives in the UC engaged in many discussions with the Executive board on a multitude of issues such as the housing crisis, corona measures, language policies and more.
The party also organized workshops, initiatives, protests, and raised money, all in the name of social responsibility and sustainability. They have multiple Climate Community Partner organizations and are collaborating to make UM and Maastricht a greener place.
For more information, watch the 2022 Maastricht Diplomat election debate.