Meet our candidates

In the series Behind the electoral list our fifteen motivated candidates for the upcoming elections (28 May – 31 May) introduce themselves: who are they and why is it so important that students go out and vote?

About me
My name is Jessica Oudenampsen, I’m 23 years old and I study Medicine. This study year I represent all the students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences in the Board of Directors of the Radboudumc as the ‘student assessor’, which is why I’m not studying at the moment. To do this, I took a break in the middle of my internships and will continue those next study year. Thankfully I still have plenty of time left in my busy schedule for my hobbies: doing sports, going to parties and improving education. My favourite pub is the Aesculaaf –because, Medical–, where I regularly enjoy a craft beer. Although next year I hope to be able to say I have two favourite pubs, because the Cultuurcafé will have joined.

Why asap?
Because at this university it is difficult to study in a flexible manner and to do activities next to your study, I think it’s of great importance that the university pays attention to the active students, looks into the options to study flexibly and values room for personal growth. I come across these principles all over asap. Furthermore, I hope being able to be an example next year with regards to connecting the Medical faculty with ‘the rest’ of the university. A lot of good things happen on our island from which the RU could learn, but vice versa there is also a lot the medical faculty can learn from the RU. At the same time we need to prevent that other faculties will also start to behave like islands on its own, something that is impending at the moment. Hopefully we can extend the connection between the faculties to the optional courses so we can truly educate in an interfacultary manner.

About me
My name is Job, I’m 21 years old and I study History. This year I’m active as a board member of the study association of History (GSV Excalibur) and member of the programme committee. Last year I was a member of the Faculty of Arts Student Council. Besides my study I like to spend my time having good conversations with friends and others, enjoying a cup of coffee or something else. I also try to spend some time, if possible, playing the saxophone in my home town. On campus I like to be in the Erasmus building because of the Spar, the Refter, the Erasmus Study Center, the Faculty of Arts’ Student Sitting Room, the room of the GSV and the nice people in the building.

Why asap?
I became member of asap, because asap is the party in the field of co-determination that is commited to serve the interests of students in an honest and transparent way. With the Ten-Point Bullet List asap also clearly and states which objectives the party specifically wants to achieve. asap amanages to achieve most of their points by staying in close contact with others and by aiming to find common ground with others. At the end of the day, the joint goal of everyone involved is to improve the university where possible and you can only represent the voice of students powerfully if you’re prepared to get conversations going. In this way asap achieves to get out the best for students in co-determination and I would love to play a role in that.

I think our university can improve on many aspects. In my opinion the RU needs to do more about student welfare. The RU presents itself as a universal community, but the welfare survey showed that many students don’t feel socially well. Personal development is very important on a university and the RU should give that more attention. Also many international students say that they don’t feel part of this ‘community’. In my opinion the RU has to act on that; simply changing the language of classes in to English isn’t the solution. The RU should provide internationals with more ways to become part of the university community.

About me
My name is Eline Bollaart, and I am in my third year of Pedagogical Sciences. Last year I was in the board of Stichting RAGweek Nijmegen, and through this I got in touch with pretty much all the different worlds within the active-student life in Nijmegen. This made me realise that there’s still a lot to gain for the active student.

Why asap?
The practical and clear approach of asap really suits me: the Ten-Point Bullet List has points that we think we can actually achieve this year. I like this way of working. It’s really easy to see what is wrong at the university, but the trick is to think about how to change it and to actually do something about it. I feel like the university should think more from the perspective of the student, and what this student thinks would be the best way to develop him- or herself. The university should pay more attention to personal development and should give more space and more recognition for this. Instead of frowning when you want to do something extra or something different (for whichever reason), the university should think along with you and should provide opportunities.  

About me
My name is Xander and I am currently studying Public Administration and following the premaster in International Economics and Development. Aside my studies I am an active member at BOW and ESV, the study associations of Public Administration and Economics. Furthermore, I am the treasurer and start up manager of Start Up Mix Students (SUM). As SUM we try to aid enterprising students in the realization of their ambitions. I also enjoy the necessary amount of fun and sociability in my life. Therefore I can be found in the Malle Babbe quite regularly.

Why asap?
During my board year and during my study I have learned a lot about joint co-determination and the Radboud University. One of the things that stood out to me, is that the RU is lagging behind when it comes to career and labour market orientation. There are many student organisations that have committed to this topic, but they are not getting involved enough. The university can work towards a solution to this problem by working together with these organisations. asap has been working on this for a long time. What I also notice is that many friends of mine have little to no interest in student representation. It is therefore necessary to make it more tangible, as it is often unclear what the aim is of the (central) participation at the moment. The University Student Council (USR) should have an active role in informing students about her aims and ambitions. asap contributes to this by creating a Ten-Point Bullet List and to inform students in various ways about the progress in achieving these goals. Furthermore, asap has been stimulating the vibrant student life since its founding and works hard towards an increase of the possibilities for active students, in the broadest sense of the term. Whether you are an entrepreneur, top athlete, carer or board member of a student organisation, the university should prioritise personal development more than it does today.

About me
My name is Philip van der Bruggen, 23 years old and a fourth-year-student in Law. As I am currently doing a board year at JFV Nijmegen, most of my time on campus is spent in the Grotius building. Apart from Grotius there is a good chance you’ll find me downtown, in the sports centre or in the Philips Stadium enjoying a soccer game.

Why asap?
The open and accessible character of asap is one of the main reasons why I decided to become a member of the party. Furthermore, the Ten-Point Bullet List provides students with a clear picture of what asap wants and the university needs. A characteristic of student life is that there are many ways to personally develop yourself. It is therefore important that students are provided with plenty of opportunities to find out what student life in Nijmegen has to offer. I have been actively involved in and with student life in different ways since the very start of my studies and that has brought me more than I could have imagined. Each and every year, asap is committed to fighting for all students and in particular for those who want to be active alongside their studies. Compared to other universities, there is still a lot of progress left to be made.

About me
My name is Sophie, I am 21 years old and originally from Utrecht. I like sailing, horseriding and skiing – basically, I am not that good at doing nothing. Currently I am in the fourth year of Dentistry and president of our study association TFV, which I very much enjoy. Besides that, I am a member of a sorority called M.A.R.I.K.E.N. and live in a student house with a few other members. Even though I am always busy, I will happily make time for asap!

Why asap?
I have always had sympathy for asap because of their clear election programme, consisting of ten strong bullet points. When I got the opportunity to join asap, it seemed like a fun challenge for me. I find it of much importance that students have the chance to carry out their opinion and be actively involved with the university and its policies. Moreover, asap has a strong focus on an active and vibrant student life, which gives you the opportunity to fully enjoy and develop yourself in all kind of ways. I fully support this: in my opinion, personal development is a very important part of your time as a student.

About me
My name is Tim von den Hoff, I am 21 years old and doing a degree in Psychology. Currently I am the treasurer of SPiN, our study association. In my spare time I like to hang out at Phocas, the student rowing club, or you can find me at the gym.

Why asap?
asap intrigued me because it is a very welcoming and open student party. Also, the topics concerning personal development of students in other ways than their studies really appeal to me. asap’s election programme, containing ten bullet points, is always very clear and easy to understand for everyone. This makes it more easily accessible for students to get involved with the universitary elecions and its topics.

The RU becomes more international and lectures are often offered in English. In my opinion, the quality of education needs to be guaranteed, also at times of internationalisation. All forms of communication on the internationalisation of the university towards students should be honest and open. Furthermore, I find it very important for the university to provide enough room and opportunities for personal development during our time here at the RU. This could be on a personal level, but also in sports or education. Either way, it is of great importance that the university has a supporting role and is willing to actively think about the best ways to fulfill it.

About me
I am Pieter van der Velden, 23 years old and in my fourth year of biology. My favorite color is green because you’re a biologist, or you ain’t one. Green was also the color of my board: I fulfilled the role of External Officer in the 32nd board of BeeVee. If I am not busy ‘managing’ student organisations or spending time on student participation, I like to read a good book or spend some time on music. Furthermore, I am certainly not opposed to having a drink. I would almost say that the asap room is my favorite place on campus, but in all honesty, I love to sit in the gardens behind the Gymnasion building.

Why asap?
asap appeals to me because the party tries to focus on students in a low threshold manner, by organising open brainstorms for example. I think it is important that a party really listens to students and makes a firm effort to do something about the things that bother students. asap is committed to facilitating students’ wants and needs.

About me
My name is Demi Hendriks, I am 20 years old and I am in my fourth year of the Academic Pabo. At this moment I like to make time for study association Postelein, where I hold a board position this year. Furthermore, I play (indoor) soccer, like to play (and win) games and I enjoy spending an evening relaxing with friends while drinking a special beer.

Why asap?
asap has concrete and clear Bullet Points with which I agree. asap’s view on improving the quality of education and the appreciation for active students are both very important to me. By dedicating myself to student participation, I hope to let students think about interesting subjects that play a role at our university. Many students are not aware of what co-determination could mean to them. It is important that students know that their voice is heard. Personally, I think it more recognition should be given to the personal development of students. Nowadays it is all about performing in society: we try to position ourselves as well as possible on the market. We want to graduate nominally, but at the same time do all kinds of extracurricular activities. The university must help us with this by giving students space and offer support to do these activities alongside their study.

About me
My name is Alara and I am an international student in the Bachelor of International Business Communication. I am from Turkey and I have studied a year in Argentina during high school so for me it is not unusual to be the foreigner during the studies. To become a part of the community I try to be active in student life, so you may know me from Babylon or Phocas. Being involved in various aspects of the student life was not as challenging as some may expect since Dutch students are welcoming and open-minded.

Why asap?
The main reason that I wanted to be involved within asap and in the university politics was that even though Dutch students are aware that the international community is getting bigger every year, there is a need of understanding on how to help them integrate into the community and have a homogeneous society. Because of the fact that asap is aiming to represent every student aspect possible, I was honoured to be able to speak out for us internationals and to help build a consensus with all students who are passionate about having a voice and being able to make changes in the university. I believe that there is always room for improvement. When I met the people from asap and had a full-on conversation, I knew I was at the right place.

About me
Do you know this situation, where you’re standing in a circle, listening obediently to everyone stating their name, study, side job, age and place of birth in a monotone manner? Sander Robertus van der Zwet, Strategic Management, (1) baker of fries (2) mentor of young adults with Down syndrome and (3) a passionate player of bridge, 23 years old and lastly, coming from Utrecht. I am personally not such a fan of these formal conventions, because you get to get to ‘know’ each other in the most shallow of ways, if you remember anything at all. Therefore I find formal ceremonies, with which the Radboud University is filled, a complete waste of time.

Why asap?
Take that one exam: it’s a friday afternoon and you’ve been working for three hours with blood, sweat and tears in HAL1. Time for beer! But no, first you need to fill in this bureaucratic course evaluation which you never hear back from. Another example is student counselling. Is your study not going so well at the moment? When you want to discuss this you don’t want to be sent from pilar to post to end up getting an exact fifteen precious minutes with your study advisor. In a room of two by two meters a note is written while the next person in need is already knocking on the door. For these dismal situations asap offers concrete solutions. With asap’s Bullet Points, very relevant study related shortcomings are being adressed in the University Student Council. I advocate for a stronger representation of student interests. Therefore I put myself forward as a candidate for asap.

About me
My name is Merel van Vliet, 22 years old and a fourth-year-student of Public Administration. I am member of N.S.V. Ovum Novum and I spend most of my spare time there, usually with committees and my year club. Last year I was a board member of this student association as Treasurer Society. During this year I learned a lot about practical matters; things I don’t learn during my studies. On campus you can often find me in the Lounge near the DE Coffee Maker, or in the Cultuurcafé enjoying a tasty special beer.

Why asap?
During my board year I learned more about co-determination and background processes at the university. I experienced that, in my opinion, the circumstances for active students could be improved. I joined asap, because the party commits itself to fighiting for the rights of active students (among other things). In my opinion it is important that students get the opportunity to develop themselves alongside of their study.

About me
My name is Max Nijhof, 22 years old and a student in Communication Science. I am also an active member of study association Mycelium, where I take part in multiple committees, and this year in the board. In my free time I like to binge series. Also, I cherish a great love for special beers, which I have recently started brewing myself. My favourite spot at the campus must be TvA 6.00.16. Our boardroom is located here so during the week I spend more time there than in my own room. You can always have a cup of coffee there, a good talk or, from time to time, a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s what creates the ‘living room’-feeling for many of our members. Unfortunately, we have to move to a different location soon, as the new building of Social Sciences will be build.

Why asap?
What appeals to me is the degree of concreteness and focus of asap. Besides, I really like the way asap looks at active students. In my opinion, students should be given as much space as possible to undertake extracurricular activities. A university is, in my view, not only a place where you get your degree, but most of all a place where you can develop yourself. I think that asap fits in well with this. What can the university do to improve itself? For example, by preparing students to a greater extent for the professional field. In my opinion, there is a wrongful notion that scientific education is at odds with practical relevance. I believe that these two can be combined, while quality is still guaranteed.

About me
My name is Myrna van Dongen, 21 years old and already in my fourth year of Medicine. I am waiting to start my clinical rotations and in the meantime I do a research internship, I travel, work as a skiing teacher and of course enjoy being part of asap! I finished the medical honours programme and I am a member of Phocas. My favourite spot on campus is the lawn in front of the medical faculty; delightful to spend time in the sun with a good cup of coffee.

Why asap?
As an active student I have noticed that it is important that all students are given the opportunity to develop themselves aside from their studies. These development goals can be related to education, but could also be achieved by being part of a social or cultural organisations. I believe that every student that wants to engage in such should get a fair chance to do so. Together with asap I take a stand on this issue.

 

About me
My name is Mart de Vree, 22 years old and currently in my fourth year of European Law School. Right now I am chairman of N.S.V. Ovum Novum. My favourite spot on campus is the secret coffee place. I will not disclose where it is located.

Why asap?
During my year as chairman of Ovum Novum I maintained close ties with the Radboud University. Nijmegen is home to a lot of students that want to develop themselves besides their studies. I want to convert the knowledge I gained during my board year into practical information for the university. I believe by doing so, the university could further improve their ways of supporting active students.