The election week is ongoing. After presenting six faculties our YOUVOTE series is coming to end! However, there is one more faculty to highlight. Somewhat lost and forgotten, we present you with what politics looks like at the Faculty of Dentistry! All the candidates are placed on one common list for Kies ACTA. We asked Bas Bostelaar, one of the candidates, a few questions about this matter as well as what Kies ACTA wants to offer for students.
Why is there only 1 party at the Faculty of Dentistry? Were there more of them in the past?
As far as I know, our faculty has always had one electoral list. One of the main reasons for this is that our faculty is relatively small, because it only consists of one study, dentistry. ACTA has both a Program Committee and a Student Council. There are therefore relatively many participation councils within our faculty for students to be involved in. The study of dentistry in itself is a study with quite a few obligations. Because of this, there are not a lot of students who sign up to sit in one of these councils each term.
With regard to that, what made you take an initiative and work as 1 such party?
Operating as one party appears to have arisen mainly from convenience. Because exactly the number of students required for all seats registers every year, it is unnecessary to set up several parties. The objective of all students is the best possible organization of their education and this has always been achievable from this single party until now. Moreover, Kies ACTA doesn’t really work as a party, but more like the central list of all ACTA candidates. The primary goals for each candidate may be the same, but in contrast to a real party, the candidates on the list of Kies ACTA are not tied to a specific philosophy of the party. They are entitled to their own specific opinion.
What are the main goals you would like to achieve while being a member of the student council?
This year, I already had the opportunity to participate in the Student Council as Commissioner PR. In this position, I did my best to improve the lines of communication within the faculty and with the students and to organize some events, such as the Teacher of the Year elections. Next year, I hope to be able to further commit myself to continue the vision of this year’s FSR and making the study even better. A lot of things are going very well at our faculty, but there is certainly still room for improvement.
What actions have you been taking to convince students to vote for your party?
In contrast to other faculties, our faculty candidates campaign as individual candidates and not as members of the Kies ACTA party. People try to promote themselves in order to gather enough votes for a seat. Within our faculty, we promote the elections in various ways, on the television screens, posters and of course our social media. In any case, every voter votes for the party, but which candidate they vote for ultimately determines the composition of the council.
Why does ACTA choose not to participate in the Central Student Council?
As mentioned earlier, the study of dentistry is an intensive six-year course. Participating in the central student council would mean an extra year for dentistry students because the various attendance requirements cannot be met. Due to ACTA’s special position, the average dentistry student also has little to do with the VU or UvA in terms of policy and participation. This has the effect that students at ACTA prefer not to be delayed for something they hardly have to deal with. In other words, study delay for membership of the CSR is not advantageous enough for dental students. One would probably still do this for the experience and to supplement the CV, but eventually one becomes a dentist. Building an extremely extensive CV with secondary activities is less relevant for the dentistry student, as it is already clear to them what they will become later on; dentist. If ACTA were to participate in the CSR, it would also have to do so for the USR. This would therefore be a considerable drain on the capacity of the small FSR.
What would you say to students at your faculty who still hesitate whether to cast a vote at all during the student council election?
Voting is a democratic right. Exercise your rights and cast a vote. It only takes a few clicks so it’s well worth it.