FSR-FMG

UvA Students, Still Not Sure Who to vote for? We have the answer.

Vote, UvA Student Elections, UvA Student Council Elections, CSR elections, FSR-FMG elections

Why should you vote? Well to many the idea of voting in the student council elections is “unnecessary” and “won’t bring much change”, and to others, “it’s all a popularity contest”. In reality, voting in the elections is perhaps the only way for students to properly voice their concerns to the dean and relevant administration at the UvA.

For the past 2 years, I have been attending UvA. In this time, I have heard many students complain or express concerns about the education they are receiving. I, for one, often speak with my friends about the various issues I face in my classes, with professors, or when I try to find certain information on the website that just seems too hard to locate. With all the concerns I have gathered in the last 2 years, from myself and colleagues, I still feel like students can do more about the issues they face and improve their student life. During the past week, I recorded Student Couch episodes with some of the candidates running for the Faculty Student Council of Social and Behavioral Sciences (FSR-FMG) and the Central Student Council (CSR). Here is what I learned:

What is the FSR FMG and the CSR?

For the past 2 years, I have been attending UvA. In this time, I have heard many students complain or express concerns about the education they are receiving. I, for one, often speak with my friends about the various issues I face in my classes, with professors, or when I try to find certain information on the website that just seems too hard to locate. With all the concerns I have gathered in the last 2 years, from myself and colleagues, I still feel like students can do more about the issues they face and improve their student life. During the past week, I recorded Student Couch episodes with some of the candidates running for the Faculty Student Council of Social and Behavioral Sciences (FSR-FMG) and the Central Student Council (CSR). Here is what I learned:

What is the FSR FMG and the CSR?

For those who may not know the difference  (don’t worry I didn’t know the difference either) the Faculty Student Council (FSR) is elected by and for students in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences on a yearly basis (FMG). Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Communication Science, Behavior and Society, Pedagogy, Educational Science, Social Geography, Planning, and their master’s degrees all belong under this umbrella. The Central Student Council (CSR), on the other hand, is the UvA’s highest level of student engagement. All UvA students are represented by the CSR, which talks with the Executive Board (CvB).

What are the parties involved? Do they matter? 

For the FSR-FMG the parties running are @Inter.Uva, @020, @UvASocial, @dvsamsterdam, and @ActivistenpartijUvA. These parties all have their own set of values and plans for improving the student life. But more importantly, each candidate gets to choose a party to join and run with for the elections. Once the candidate is interviewed, selected, and trained by the party; they begin their campaign and set the goals and values on which they will be running. Throughout the academic year, these parties focus on  organizing events and workshops, as well as supporting their candidates and relaying important information to students regarding their activities and policies. 

What do Elected Representatives do?

Well, as you might have guessed, they represent the student voice. To do so, along with their party, representatives they first survey students and ask them about what they experience and what they would like to change. They then compile all of their research and develop some policies or possible solutions to issues discussed. These issues can be very diverse, from online examination, to tuition prices, and even the housing crisis. 

Not sure who to vote for?

To help you out, I compiled the list of leaders as well as their main campaign points down below. If you still feel like you’re not informed enough and you would like to know more about  the parties, motions being discussed, and/or the positions of parties regarding each motion, then this UVA website has a custom test you can take in 5 minutes to figure out what your best fit is. By answering a few questions on your position regarding various motions, the test is able to figure which party fits your views the most and from there you can find the candidate from that party to elect. 

Who are the List leaders?

CSR List Leaders

UvASociaal: Sofia Neumayer Toimil

Sofia’s aim in the student council is to integrate a sexual assault contact person and help resources on the university website. Additionally, she wants to introduce specialised student psychologists and promote student-run mental health initiatives. Sofia is running for both the CSR and the FMG.

De Vrije Student: Yourie Bras

 

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A post shared by De Vrije Student UvA (@dvsamsterdam)

In the council, Yourie plans to advocate strongly for digitisation, students with disabilities, and mental health issues. His motto is pragmatism first! He plans to have every lecture recorded and allow students to pay per course.

Activistenpartij UvA: Luana Lensz

Luana’s most important aim is to organize many protests for people to come together for important issues. Furthermore, she wants to repoen spaces, such as the Maagdenhuis, for student again, and change the UvA policy around sexual assault.

INTER: Tessa

 

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A post shared by INTER (@inter.uva)

Tessa’s main goals are to improve democracy and transparency with students at the UvA so that they are aware of what decisions are being made behind the scenes. She wants to ensure better mental health care for students and make sure the UvA focuses more on sustainability.

020: Abbey Gilchrist

 

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A post shared by De Vrije Student UvA (@dvsamsterdam)

Abbey plans to tackle the mental health issue by making tutors the first point of contact for students with questions about mental health issues. She also plans to expand job and internship opportunities and make housing more accessible to all students

FSR FMG List Leaders

UvASociaal: Sofia Neumayer Toimil

Sofia’s aim in the student council is to integrate a sexual assault contact person and help resources on the university website. Additionally, she wants to introduce specialized student psychologists and promote student-run mental health initiatives.

020: Leila Hammoud

 

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A post shared by UvA Politieke Partij 020 (@020.nl)

Leila’s main goals are mental health, sustainability, and diversity. Her ideas include the organization of mental health support groups, racism and sexual misconduct workshops, and individual incentives to bring reusable cups to the UvA.

De Vrije Student: Esra Weijenberg

 

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A post shared by De Vrije Student UvA (@dvsamsterdam)

Esra joined De Vrije in order to advocate for the importance of mental health resources, also after the COVID-19 pandemic. She believes that students deserve free access to mental health support and services from the UvA.

How and when can you vote?

The voting closes on June 4th, so you have until then to make sure that your voice is heard. In 2020, the communication science program had a 5.2% voter turnout compared to the 11.4% in 2019. This means that the majority of student voices are not being heard and that the representation in this council is not as accurate. Therefore,  it’s extremely  important for all students from communication science and other programs to go out this year and choose their candidate. You can vote by clicking on this link. If you would like more information on the elections, the candidates, or the parties, you can make sure to listen to the student couch episodes we have recorded and/or check out the UvA resources available.

GO VOTE!!

Cover By: Younes Skalli

Edited by: Livia Pinho

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