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This is the central hub of information regarding the AUC Student Council elections. Here you can find all you need to know about the election process in general and running for the AUC Student Council of 2020-2021 in particular.


What do the AUC Student Council elections entail?


The AUC Student Council is a yearly rotating participatory governance body. Each year, the AUC election committee – this year, for the first time, under the auspices of the VU election committee – organizes an election to establish the new board for the following academic year. The new members of the Student Council are chosen democratically and all AUC students are eligible to vote. A term on the Student Council lasts for one year. Members of the current Student Council may run for re-election.


Election reforms


The AUC Student Council of 2018-2019 has been able to streamline the Student Council election process with that of the VU. To explain why it was imperative to do so, some historical background information is needed.


Amsterdam University College is a joint initiative of the UvA and the VU, the major research universities of Amsterdam. To ensure the effective managerial and administrative governance of AUC, it was incorporated in the two science faculties of these universities: the UvA faculty of Science and the VU Beta faculty. It has been agreed on by AUC and its mother universities that the representational rights of AUC students would reside with the VU. In practice, all rights of say that are conferred to the Beta faculty student council by the Dutch Law of Higher Education (WHW), are executed by the AUC Student Council, insofar as these rights concern AUC. In other words, the AUC Student Council is effectively a separate faculty student council, while legally being an extension of the VU Beta faculty student council. The AUC Student Council is, therefore, required to follow VU procedures regarding student representation, and this includes the elections process. As this has not been the case in the past, we saw to it that the proper procedures in regards to the elections would be followed from this year onwards. We did so successfully.


As a result of our efforts to streamline the Student Council election process with that of the VU, the elections will take place in a different guise than in the years before the 2019-2020 elections. First of all, the VU list system will be employed, applying to the faculty student council elections, which prescribes that the candidates are placed on one list by the AUC election committee after a pre-selective procedure (see “Procedures” for more information). Second of all, the election facilities of the VU will be used, which has two major consequences: (1) the votes will be cast digitally this year and (2) AUC students are not only eligible to vote for the AUC Student Council of 2019-2020, but are also elibible to vote for the VU University Student Council, the participatory governance body of and for all VU students. Finally, the election timeframe as determined by the VU election committee will be followed.


Why should I vote during the Student Council elections?


Because much is at stake. AUC students have the tendency to underestimate the impact that the AUC Student Council has and can have on the educational and managerial course that AUC sails. The AUC Student Council is invested with several substantial representational rights that should not be readily disregarded. For example, the AUC Student Council has consent rights to the headlines of the AUC budget, meaning that we have to concur with the budget for it to be passed. Furthermore, the AUC Student Council has consent rights and advisory rights on specific changes made to the Academic Standards & Procedures. Our advice on AUC’s state of affairs is also not taken lightly by the AUC Management. That is to say, if we voice student concerns about, for instance, the course registration process, in a constructive dialogue with the AUC Management Team, they have to act on them.


So, the AUC Student Council has immensely influential representational rights and responsibilities. You as an AUC student must do your part and cast your vote wisely, in order to ensure that these responsibilities are conferred to the, in your view, most capable of candidates.

Explanation of the VU list system


This year, we will employ the VU list system applying to the faculty student council elections, as stipulated in the VU Nadere Regeling Medezeggenschap. Hereby an explanation of the election system for the upcoming 2019 elections.


The candidates will be placed on the electoral list by the current Student Council on the basis of a pre-selective procedure. The higher you end up on the list, the better your chances are at being elected. To understand how this will work in practice, imagine the following vote distribution among candidates on a fictitious list.


  1. John (40)
  2. Mary (60)
  3. Emma (30)
  4. Sophia (20)
  5. Max (30)
  6. Susan (10)
  7. James (70)
  8. Emily (10)
  9. Daniel (10)
  10. Michael (20)


Total number of votes: 300
Total number of seats: 5
Electoral quotient: 60


Those candidates who attain the electoral quotient (number of votes cast / number of seats) are guaranteed to get a seat. So, in this example, James and Mary get a seat, because they attained the electoral quotient. The remaining seats are allocated to the candidates who did not attain the electoral quotient, but have the highest place on the list. So, the remaining seats will go to John, Emma, and Sophia.


Election result:

  1. James
  2. Mary
  3. John
  4. Emma
  5. Sophia


This example proves that it is possible to be on the next Student Council if the current board places you high on the list (like Sophia), but that you can also be elected in spite of your place on the list if you do an effective campaign (like James).