The WUR Council and Student Council have sounded the alarm: not enough students and staff want to stand for election to these representative bodies. The Student Council elections in May might not go ahead.
New elections for the Student Council are scheduled from 20 to 23 May. In the past few weeks, students have been able to apply as candidates for the student parties VeSte, S&I and CSF, or as independent members. ‘The application processes are underway but so far we haven’t had as many candidates as we’d hoped,’ reports Student Council chair Sophie Galema. She hopes sufficient candidates will emerge in the end to enable the elections to take place.
The various staff councils are also facing a lack of candidates. Both Wageningen Research’s Central Works Council (COR) and the university’s Student Staff Council (SSC) have too few members. Both representative bodies have had one unoccupied seat for some time. ‘Anyone who is interested can join the council straight away because there’s room,’ says COR secretary Joost van Opheusden.
It is not just the central councils: the councils for the various science groups are also short-staffed. Almost half the seats on the council of the Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group are unoccupied, as are a quarter of the Plant Sciences Group council seats. Elections are a rarity these days; the councils are pleased if they can find enough candidates at all. There is certainly no ‘pool’ of activist employees in the science groups who could make the move to the central councils.
It is also unclear whether any PhD candidates will be coming forward soon for the SSC. Two seats on the university’s council are reserved for PhD candidates. They are now occupied but Sabine Vreeburg and Job Claushuis still don’t know who will succeed them. ‘We haven’t had any applications yet,’ says Vreeburg. The deadline is 25 April.