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Chairman Faculty Student Council on elections

Published on 25-04-2024
Student Council Elections 2024 will take place from Monday 13 to Friday 17 May 2024. We asked Faculty Student Council chairman Maas Hermes about the past year and the upcoming elections.
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Maas Hermes, chairman FSR 2024

How do you look back on last year at the FSR?

For me, last year as a councillor and chair of the FSR was a hugely enjoyable experience! After three years of full-time study, I was ready for a different kind of work. Since I had always been interested in the organisation of education here at Science Park, joining the council was a great fit. Once in the council, I soon noticed how many things you get involved with. As a student, you experience your studies in a relatively passive way: You take courses, take exams, and eventually you get your degree. You often don't get to see much of what happens behind the scenes. This year was different for me. You quickly find out that many aspects of your studies are dynamic. Every year, small adjustments are made everywhere to make education as good as possible. This also applies to Science Park as a place, where improvements and facilities are constantly being introduced. To be able to represent the voice of students in these processes is something I have enjoyed doing. I have also learnt an awful lot from it. From administrative things at the level of both students and teachers, to more political skills, such as how to get certain things done within an organisation. Finally, I want to stress that it is incredibly fun social work. The number of nice people you work with have really made this year worth it, both inside and outside the council. I can safely say that Science Park is an incredibly nice place to do organisational work because of the people you work with.

Can you tell something about the FSR candidacy?

This year we have a good number of students running for the FSR, which I think is very nice to see! For most, the student council is something that unfortunately stays under their radar, which is a shame when you realise what an important function it has within the UvA organisation. The fact that many people want to be on the council next year hopefully also says something about the motivation of the councillors. A council works well if the people in it have a passion for the work you do in it. A bit of healthy competition can also really help with this. If two students have to fight for a seat, it often does mean that they have a certain vision of how Science Park can become an even better place. That vision ensures that a student council can achieve a lot in a year. Personally, I'm very curious about the elections, and who all manages to win a seat!

Elections are coming up soon. Why is it important for students to vote?

Voting for student council is hugely important, although most students don't realise it (neither did I myself for the first two years of my studies...). Although students do agree on many things, there are always big differences in views between the two councillors. As a student council, it is important to have a focus on improving certain aspects, and where you put that focus on, everyone has a different opinion. It is therefore important to vote for someone or a party that wants to focus on those same things. I would therefore also recommend, in addition to the voter guide, talking to some party members during campaign week. It is very bold that it is so accessible to get in direct contact with the electorate. It allows you to find out very quickly whether someone shares your opinion, and thus deserves your vote! Besides this, I hope Science Park will be more involved in the elections this year. Last year, we were the faculty with one of the lowest voting percentages.... I want to show that Science Park is better than other faculties in this respect too, and therefore hope that we will have the highest voting percentage this year. So vote!

How will students be able to vote?

From 13 to 17 May, all students will receive an email to vote. It is very simple, with a few clicks you vote for the party that represents you. Next Monday the electoral lists will be announced, so then you can see who you can vote for. So check out in advance what the parties stand for or come and have a chat during the week of the election to see which party can best represent you.

More on the elections