Dear students of Tilburg University,
We write you this letter on the occasion of the recent entry of Front in the elections for the faculty councils. By means of this joint statement of five student parties, we would like to draw your attention to the negative consequences this inevitably will have for student interests at faculty level.
For years now, there has been a situation in which at every faculty, with an exception here and there, one party represents the students in the faculty council. These parties represent all students of their faculty, and are open to the most divergent views. Therefore, each student has the full opportunity to join the existing student parties, in order to make their opinions heard.
Due to the possible entry of Front to the faculty councils, this system will be partially lost. We would like to stress that of course a new party itself is not the problem. However, we strongly believe that this initiative should come from the students of the faculty in question and not from a university council party. After all, this causes an unnecessary rivalry, which did not exist before and does not have to exist. As a result, the focus of the faculty council members inevitably shifts from substantive documents to secondary issues such as preparations for elections.
No student group was underrepresented in the current system of participation. The existing parties have always been fully committed to the benefit of all students. The ideological neutrality made it possible for students to unite in a single student party and thus operate in harmony relative to the faculty. The entry of Front in the decentral elections will only politicise the playing field. The interests of the students will impendidly slip into the background when the elections inevitably demand more resources.
In addition to these practical and fundamental objections, we also very much regret the working method of Front in this matter. Instead of proactively approaching the decentralized parties to improve the representation of students’ interests, we were very late informed about this and due to our own inquiries.
Student party SAM would also like to emphasize that they fully support the existing decentralized parties. As far as they are concerned, the key to good student participation is an intensive relationship between the independent central and decentralized participation councils. This independent consultation threatens to be disrupted. They, too, disapprove of the working method and regret the lack of openness towards the faculty parties.
Despite the fact that we jointly sign this letter, we would like to emphasize that the signed parties are and will remain independent in terms of content. The sole purpose of this letter was to speak out jointly against Front’s recently announced plans.
Hopefully you understand the urgency of the situation and share our concerns. We therefore call upon you to express this with your vote in the coming elections.
Mats Klaren – Chairman Vrijspraak, student party of Magister JFT
Heather Engelen – Chairman Student Party ECCO
Julia Walboomers – Chairman Student Party Stimulus
Ellen van Gisbergen – Chairman Student Party Dante
Gijs Reukers – Chairman Student Party SAM
Read here the Dutch version of our letter.