Study board candidate: The system favors Danes

DSC_0083“I do know, that I sound like a bad loser – but it’s more the principle of it.”

That is what Danut Alexandru says, who was 5 votes away from a seat on the study board. It turns out, that several international students from European Studies have been unable to vote in the study board election, which ended Wednesday 23rd at 19 o’clock.

He believes that it may have important implications for the election results, that international students could not vote.

The explanation is, that several of the students have temporary social security numbers, and precisely that has put an end to their opportunity to vote.

“Many of my fellow students could not vote. Of course it is not certain that they would vote for me, but it’s the principle that people cannot be heard, “said Danut Alexandru.

He wonders particularly over, that it is not enough to be enrolled in the study program. Skaberstaten has gained insight into a number of mails where Danut Alexandru contacted the Election Secretariat on the matter, but the answers are appearing to be lacking.

Technical error
After Skaberstaten itself contacted the Election Secretariat, the error is found:

It turns out that there is a technical problem. If a student does not have a Social Security (CPR) number when he or she is enrolled at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), he or she receives an SDU-CPR number. These are used in the statistics when creating users to the students. If one got an official Social Security number since the user is registered, the system will not let the person be eligible to vote.

The problem is the same for students from the Universities of Copenhagen and Århus.

Election secretary at SDU, Kristian Græsborg, says he has corrected the error for the students who have contacted them about the problem.

The election committee was briefed on the problem at their meeting on Thursday (the 11.24.2016) and takes note of the problem as it sounds. If they receive a complaint, they must decide whether there should be a new ellection.

Danut Alexandru explains that he intends to file a complaint:

“It says in the rules that you can send a complaint within five working days after the election. And I have plans to do so, where I write, that I believe there should be a re-election. I hope for a re-run, even if I only get 10 votes. This is about the principle – everyone should have an equal and fair chance.”

Study board for Danes
According to the candidate’s the voting problems are not the only problem about the election. Danut Alexandru wrote to the Student Information and complained that all the forms and content of the study board election only exists in Danish.

The Student Information responded as follows:

 “I have received an answer from the election committee. The reason why the materials and websites for the election is in Danish is that all meetings will be held in Danish. Therefore, you have to speak and understand Danish.

I hope this answers your questions, otherwise you may contact us again.”

That is what an assistant of the Student Information Sønderborg wrote to Danut Alexandru in a mail to answer his complaint.

“It’s not fair. It is clear that they favor the Danish students when everything is and will be held in Danish, “said the candidate.

Danut Alexandru got 37 votes and has thus become the first alternate for the post on the Study board.

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Katharina Elisabeth Mootz

Translator at Skaberstaten. Newly graduate MSc in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies from SDU.

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