The candidates Franka Kneepkens, Thomas C. Elixauser og Crianic-Alexandru Danut all have in an interview with Skaberstaten expressed their dissatisfaction with the distribution of seats in the new study board.
The study board structure is changed. The study programs of Journalism, Sociology, Moisl, Welfare Studies, European Studies, Political Science and Social Studies have from 2017 onwards a joint study board. The distribution of the five seats for student representatives are as follows; Journalism has two seats, Sociology has one, while the remaining five study programs have to share the last two seats.
These five remaining programs have together more than twice as many students as Journalism. There are a total of 470 students at Journalism in 2016. While in the same year there has been 969 students of Political Science, Social Studies, European Studies, Moisl and Welfare Studies. That is what figures from the SDU’s statistics bank WhiteBook are showing.
The candidates for this year’s study board election disagree in several areas. Especially how best to represent several studies. But they agree, however, that the new structure lacks democratic considerations.
“It is highly undemocratic, that we should fight for only two seats, when we have such a greater number of students, than Journalism has,” says Franka Kneepkens.
The only candidate in the election from European Studies in Sønderborg, Crianic-Alexandru Danut, believes that there should be at least one seat for a representative of each study program.
“It is not quite fair, I think,” he says.
However, it has been an option to repeal the mentioned division of representation. The vice dean for education at the Social Sciences Faculty, Ole Friis, told in an interview in October that the distribution of seats could be repealed, so that all five student seats were up for election among all candidates for the study board. It would have taken just 25 signatures from students.
But at the deadline for handing in the signatures on the 30. September at noon, nobody did hand in a signed petition.
How do we represent that many students?
One of the problems of the relatively few seats is, that two people will represent five study programs.
Ole Friis will encourage departments to create an academic council or committee where the problems for individual study programs can be discussed and where requests can be sent to the study board.
Both Franka Kneepkens and Thomas C. Elixauser hope such councils/committees will be established and they will participate in them. While Crianic-Alexandru Danut rather hear from the main source.
“Of course it is a good idea, but I’d prefer that students know me and contact me if there are any problems, that I need take up to the study board,” says Crianic-Alexandru Danut
The first paragraph in study board’s rules of procedure describes, that the meetings of the board are public – with the exception of closed points. Franka Kneepkens proposes, that the candidates that were not elected could sit at the study board meetings as well.
“They obviously do not have voting rights, but they may advise the two representatives that have been chosen,” says Franka Kneepkens.
Thomas C. Elixauser explains, that he also sees advantages in having a contact person in the study board, who can inform students about changes and listen to them if there is something they are unhappy with.
Read more about the election here study board election 2016