[Seriously?] New party wins Student Council election with beer and pizza

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P&B, the new party founded in January, managed to win all 12 seats in its debut in the Student Council election. It also persuaded a record number of students to cast a vote: 97 per cent instead of the usual 35 per cent or so.

Pieter Pintemans, who leads the brand-new party, is delighted with the success of P&B. ‘This shows we struck a chord with the students in a way other parties don’t manage. Normally, two thirds of students are too lazy to cast a vote. Our manifesto shows that if you present students with something worth choosing, they are prepared to click on that link and vote. You just have to fire them up with great plans.’

Pintemans is happy to go through those great plans one more time for us. ‘The established Student Council parties basically all want the same: better education, more sustainability, and so on. The same old story. We say: education and sustainability are doing fine. What students really need in these times of inflation, rising college fees and threats of fines if you don’t finish your degree on time is a bit of encouragement. Preferably free. That is why our P&B manifesto is focused on one thing and one thing only: free pizza and beer for all students.’

Sure, that might sound a bit populist, as Pintemans admits. ‘I get that people think it’s a joke, but it will solve a whole bunch of problems. Students are struggling with climate depression, loneliness, financial worries, FOMO and much else besides. If you can get together to talk about your fears and worries over a pint and slice of pizza, everything will soon look a lot better. You will no longer be lonely because you’ll be chatting and boozing with your fellow students. And your money problems won’t be quite so bad because it’s free.’

Dean of Education Anton Bergt is pleased with the record turnout for the election. ‘This is a unique achievement. No other Dutch university gets close. Political engagement is alive and kicking in Wageningen.’ He does have doubts though about P&B’s rather short manifesto, which literally fits on the back of a beer mat. ‘As Dean of Education, I would have hoped for a bit more on education, I guess. The manifesto doesn’t even mention it once.’

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