ISU and Moderate Liste are back in the election campaign

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After a year on the sideline, are now the two lists back fighting for seats in the Student Parliament – and along with that the opportunity to influence their own student life. Five lists are expected to run for the student election this year.

Daniel Hernández Iniesta, ISU.
Daniel Hernández Iniesta, ISU.


By: Lars André Dahl (text & photo), photo from archives; Ivar Vasstveit. Translated by: Bjørn Harald Lye

It is still early in the student election campaign, but possible new lists had to submit documentation of participation by the first day of October. The lists that ran for election at the student election last year, did not have to submit lists as of now, but still Studenter for fiksjonsbetinget virkelighet (SFFV) reports that they do not want to run for a re-election. This means that the student election at the University of Stavanger (UiS) this year, most likely will be between five lists: the Liberal Liste, the Moderat Liste, Venstresida, International Student Union (ISU), as well as the Studentenes Liste.

– The more, the merrier. That way the election reaches out to more students. This year, the number of seats in the parliament is increased from 17 to 19 due to an increased number of students, says the vice-president in StOr, Håkon Ohren. As vice-president in StOr, he is responsible for the student election.


Moderat Liste
One of the lists that run for a re-election is the Moderat Liste, with Sverre Gaupås as the leader.

– We want more focus on campus, strengthen Engasjert, make a student park a reality in connection with Tappetårnet, the leader says, and emphasizes that they are party political independent.

– In addition we want more focus on improvement of the public transportation, like being more on time, Aina Bratland adds.

– We would also like to have a test arrangement using computers on exams carried out, says the third man in the room when SmiS meets the Moderat Liste: Mats Theodor With Aune.

The list wants more candidates that can give feedback to the program of the Moderat Liste. The deadline is October 15th, but with a final deadline to submit a complete documentation of the program and the list on October 17th.

– How many seats do you want in the Student Parliament?

– We are happy with 18, Gaupås says with a smile.

– If we get a majority, we are happy. That is why we would like to have more people on our list. There is no dictatorship within the list. We will carry out an election campaign based on our program, that is slightly committing, but other than that personal statements and discussions are welcome, he says.

 Many international students have trouble with their student housing.

ISU
The other list that is back on the voting ballot, is ISU. They are already well organized and run with a complete list regarding the election into parliament. The leader is Daniel Hernández Iniesta.

– We have just recently started the process, so we have to adjust our program a little later. We start on «scratch», but we have a very good communication with StOr, says Iniesta.
The international list runs for election after one year without being on the voting ballot, Iniesta mentions some of the issues they will bring on the table at the parliament.

– Many international students have trouble with their student housing. Several students live year after year under pretty dirty conditions. In addition to the semester fee, on government side, they’re discussing to include an extra student fee international students have to pay in order to study at UiS. That will exclude many skilled students who do not have the possibility to pay, he says. He is not impressed with the center that will guide the students on to new jobs.

– The Career Center has to be improved. In addition, we hope we can do something about the age limits on the bus. It is the same whether you are 20 or 40 years old and studying. You study anyway?, Iniesta asks rethorically, and adds that limit of four years in SiS’ student housing should be changed.
The vice-president of StOr is happy the ISU runs again.

– I believe this is good for the entire election. The international students constitute for a large part of the students on campus and it is also very good that they will use their voice and influence, he says.

 

Shared wish of a better election participation
The student election last year experienced a record-high participation among university students. Despite the record, the election participation rate was not any higher than 14,72 percent.

– It is a general task of all the lists to be visible and encourage the students to vote, says the representative of the Liberal Liste, Simon Furnes.

– I believe the turn-up from last year can be improved this year. It is all about informing our students, be there and show them what our politics will be. We will be visible and inform about what we want in the parliament, says the representative of Venstresida, Antonia Kvalsvik.

StOr, which organizes the election, want more voters.

– We will be doing more marketing before the election, especially through social media. In addition, we will have an election debate on October 30th as well as a election newspaper that will be distributed well ahead of the election, says Ohren at StOr.
Moderat Liste will take its share when it comes to an increased election participation.

– We will run an active and engaging election campaign. We will be active and visible and through engaging more people and create more debates, says the leader of the list, Gaupås.

Iniesta in ISU believes in better election participation among the international students.

– We had a gathering where we had to vote for a person to a position in ISU. We had 117 people showing up! There were not as many students that voted last and I believe there are more students that will vote this year, he says.

 

Wants a structural change of the list model

– The most important issue for us, is working with the organizations, says the leader of Studentenes Liste from last year, Magnus Meisal.

The list has not yet decided upon re-election when SmiS meets Meisal.

Last years winner with 50,6 percent of the votes, wants the lists to receive a higher demand in order to be able to run for election.

– Access to run for an election should not be as easy as it is today in order to make them more accountable.

– It should not be «just for fun» to run for an election. It seems a little uncommitted as it is right now, says Meisal.

He explains it this way; lists can easily choose not to run for an election one year and then return the next year with the same name – but maybe without any of the original members and a significant change of opinions.

– You mean the model should have been changed?

– The model should have been as following: that the lists were separeted from StOr and registered in the Brønnøysund Register Center (national register center where all norwegian organizations are registered, red. anm.) along with an organization number, a board and a clearer structure, Meisal says.

When the Student Parliament convened for the first time after the student election last year, 15 of 17 representatives were new to the task. The leader of Studentenes Liste do not think this is justifiable.

– You get a transition of knowledge that is too bad. With a new model, the transition would be better, he says.


Election Debate Day and Election Night
This year as well as last year, the Student Organization (StOr) plan on accommodating an Election Debate Day, where the lists meet for a debate. Exactly where the debate will be held is not yet determined, but October 30
th is the date. On Thursday, November 15th, there will be an Election Night managed by StOr.

– We use electronic ballot boxes, the same way as last year and as we did in 2011 during the election of a new prinicipal. It is the same method used at the University of Oslo and the voting is done in two minutes, says Ohren, the election representative.

– I would like to encourage everyone to join in and influence the students in Stavanger’s own parliament, he says.

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Liberal Liste

  • Runs for re-election (with a minimum of four representatives, status October 6th.)
  •  Simon Furnes
  • Birgit Rodvelt
  • Ingelin Ertresvåg
  • Amund Thomassen
  • – We have not had a meeting regarding further work yet, but issues like a better bus offer, along with improving the quality of the education at UiS, will most likely be among our cases, says the leader of the list, Simon Furnes.
  • – Liberal Liste wants to be the biggest, he says regarding the number of seats in the parliament the list would like to have.

Studentenes Liste

  • Not decided regarding re-election (status October 6th).

Studenter for fiksjonsbetinget virkelighet (SFFV)

  • Does not run for re-election

Venstresida

  • Runs for re-election (with minimum of two representatives, status October 6th):
  • Antonia Kvalsvik
  • Bettina Hermansen
  • – We are currently working on putting together a program that is to the best for all the students. Housing politics, an improved public transportation and better arrangements regarding loans and scholarships is something we would like to work for, says the representative for the Left Side, Antonia Kvalsvik.

Moderat Liste (NEW)

  • Runs for re-election (with minimum five representatives, status October 6th):
  • Sverre Gaupås (leader)
  • Mads Rosnes
  • Anders Aas Nordin
  • Aina Bratland
  • Mats Theodor With Aune

International Students Union (ISU) (NEW)

  • 1. Daniel Hernández Iniesta
  • 2. Raissa Freitas Noronha
  • 3. Kristina Vaeng
  • 4. Paul Vaca Meneses
  • 5. Andreea Rusu

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