What You Need to Know About the 2019 Student Council Elections

February 25, 2019


University Student Councils in the Netherlands possess powers which many other educational institutions do not reward their students with. For instance, the university needs their approval to instigate changes. The importance of students’ voting is highlighted by Svedha Krishnaraj, representative of the Law Faculty Student Council: “We don’t work without knowing the opinions of the students.”

Elections for this year’s Student Council will be held in May. This marks the first Amsterdammer article of a series about the upcoming elections, so stay tuned for further coverage including a breakdown of the parties within the Councils, and on how these elections affect international students.

What are the elections for?

They are arranged for the purpose of getting students democratically involved, by joining a party, running for the council and simply exercising their right to vote! Students will be able to vote for fellow student candidates, for the purpose of playing an active role in student politics and creating the change they want to see within the university. Seeing as the UvA hosts over 30,000 students, there are many voices to be heard from. For this reason, elections are held both at Central and Faculty levels. All students currently enrolled at the UvA are eligible to vote for their preferred party and their choice of candidate, in both aforementioned councils.

Where do you vote?


When do you vote?

UvA Student Council elections will be held from Monday, 13 until Friday, 17 May

How does it work?

The Student Councils are comprised of the seven Faculty Student Councils and the one Central Council. The Faculty Council specializes in issues relevant to the individual faculty. The Central Student Council’s responsibility expands to the general activity of UvA students and makes changes to the way UvA is organized; in issues concerning the likes of education and social life. These Student Councils are chosen in a democratic manner- by the students for the students.

Faculty Student Council

The Faculty Student Councils are comprised of multiple participating parties within the individual faculties (Economics & Business, Humanities, Dentistry, Medicine, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Law).

Their responsibilities consist of defending the interests of their respective student body, ensuring that the education is met with high standards and ensuring that essential facilities are made accessible. Their tasks further include the set up of the education and examination regulations.

Their weekly plenary meetings (PV) host the ‘File Holders’, a position on each council who presents arguments to be further explored, prior to being voted on. The weekly PV is carried out in a public fashion, open to visitors.

Central Student Council

The current Central Student Council is made up of three parties: UvA Red, UvA Sociaal and De Vrije Student.

The Council is made up of 14 students from different faculties who have made a year-long commitment to look at the issues facing the university. They deal with university matters at all levels, from housing to the opening hours of the library. Of these 14 members, 7 are elected directly through the central elections. The remaining 7 are appointed by each faculty. Each faculty gets one of the 7 seats for fair representation.



Breakdown of Seats within the Central Student Council:



Key for Faculty Abbreviations:

DirectMembers directly elected into CSC
EconEconomics & Business
SBSSocial and Behavioural Sciences
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Sarah Iacobacci is a 20-year-old Canadian student, studying Communication Science at the UvA. She is the University reporter of The Amsterdammer.

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