Election Blog: What type of student would the parties be…?
|Date:||15 May 2019|
You’ve probably noticed by now that it is this time of the year again. Flyer-tossing, water-throwing, vote-hungry students occupy the spaces in front of the University buildings to convince you to choose them on the ballot. However, amidst all the fancy posters, manifestos and glossy brochures, it is easy to lose oversight about what exactly each party stands for. That is why in this blog post I’m going to try to break down things a bit for all of you out there who don’t know who to vote for, by asking a straightforward question: What type of student would each party be if they were a real person?
Jan, 21, Bachelor’s in IRIO (aka Studenten Organisatie Groningen (SOG))
Jan is that friend who knows everyone and who everyone likes. Be it the new kid in class who just transferred from transsiberia, the guy who fills up the snack machine or your professor's mother in law - Jan knows them all and all of them know Jan. Jan also loves, loves, loves to have a good and relaxed time next to his studies, which is why he opposes anything that would hold him too long inside a classroom. However, he’s also that friend who will call you up on a Monday night during exam week and ask you if you want to ‘just have a few’ in the city centre, well-knowing that this will not end well. Although he spends around half of his student loan on membership fees, Jan is an active member in 20 different student and study associations so that he can expand his “professional network”. Undoubtedly, a lot of his friends find it easy to agree with Jan as he is quite the antithesis to a revolutionary and tries to stay rather rational and uncontroversial in his opinions.
Cali, 23, Bachelor’s in Biology and Mathematics (aka Lijst Calimero)
Cali is a bit more toned down than our friend Jan from before. She’s the type of student that is always super prepared and adequately dressed to class and weirdly awake at any 9 am lecture. Although Cali is not the coolest kid on the block, she has her facts straight and an ‘academic swagger’ to make up for it. People might think she’s a bit nerdy, but everyone in class still loves her because she shares all of her perfectly written summaries right before exams start. Usually, Cali can keep her calm and analytical appearance. Except for that one time where she only got an 8 and had a complete nervous breakdown. After this absolutely traumatising incident Cali first lodged several complaints to the Board of Examiners before starting a party to give her diploma the value it deserves.
Karl, 20, Bachelor’s in Philosophy (aka Democratische Academie Groningen (DAG))
If you are looking for a buddy to start a revolution with, then Karl is your man. Leaning quite far to the left of the political spectrum, Karl’s friends describe him as ‘woke’ and ‘110% vegan’. In his free time, Karl occupies children's playgrounds to protest his 20th birthday, joins marches against walking and writes politically charged up short stories (‘minifestos’). Although all this protesting can be tiresome sometimes, Karl’s friends appreciate his commitment and deep-rooted belief in the matters he is fighting for. Although Karl may be too intense of a character for some, he has a compelling vision to share and does not shy away from voicing his opinions even if it costs him some sympathy points.
Mark, 24, Master’s in Financial Management (aka De Vrije Student)
Mark, who started his own start-up by the age of 24, is the businessman among the students listed here. Although he’d be much rather working in his freshly founded company which specialises in re-sit risk management, Mark sees his Master’s degree as an investment which will recoup itself within the next few fiscal years. In terms of style, Mark likes to keep it business casual - a shirt with a suit jacket and jeans paired with the truly irresistible haircut of prime minister Mark Rutte (#idol) usually does the trick. Needless to say, Mark and Karl do not get along that well. But this does not prevent Mark from finding many friends among those students who are slightly more market-oriented and miss flexibility in their lives.
Estefania Roxana Mueller-Gonzalez, 19, Bachelor’s in European Languages and Cultures (aka The International Platform)
Estefania is the international in this unusual line-up. Having lived in 25 different countries and speaking eight languages fluently, she chose to come to Groningen because you can bike everywhere (“Omg LA traffic sucks”) and there is clean air (“I totally can’t breathe in Beijing”). Known for having the best jokes and juiciest gossip around, Estefania is the unofficial queen of the 4th floor in the UB. However, once she leaves her territory and enters the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the University, which is located in it, there are a few things that irritate her about the way things are handled. That is why Estefania has set out to give her international followers a voice and bring in some cosmopolitan flair into the council next year, even if she has to do it on her own.
Have you ever met Jan, Cali, Karl, Mark or Estefania? If not, make sure to get more information on who to vote for before the 17th of May. The right to vote is a valuable privilege, so make use of it and go to vote.rug.nl to choose your representative for next year!