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INTERsection: Meet the 2024 INTER Candidates for the upcoming Elections!

With elections right around the corner, UvA’s INTER party organised an event to introduce the candidates running for the FSR and CSR elections. To select the candidates that best represent the party’s interests, INTER has adopted the Mediating Assessment Protocol (MAP), aimed at preventing biased judgements. 

 

INTER has well-rounded candidates for 2 faculty councils and for the central student council who have expressed their aspirations to enhance UvA and aid the student body. The candidates have been listed in a ranking order, wherein the winning seats depend upon the number of positions available.

For instance, if INTER secures 2 seats in the elections, then the first 2 candidates in the ranking will be selected to represent the party at the CSR and the FSR.  

FdR Candidates

1. Len Holstein (FdR Candidate) 

As a 3rd year Dutch PPLE student majoring in law, Len aspires to start with incremental changes which can be manifested into bigger, more global changes. 

Policies: 

  • Increase legitimacy and democracy: Len believes that for students to be able to make a difference, they need to be knowledgeable, or at least aware, of the councils at UvA. Thus, he wants to circulate more transparent information about councils to the student body. 

  • Anonymous grading: Len believes that grading should be done without any variation in judgements, in order for unconscious biases to be taken out of exams. 

  • Accessibility: For more flexibility and accessibility, web lectures should become the norm, so as to prevent students from falling behind in their courses. 

 

2. Mihnea-Calin Loi (FdR Candidate) 

Mihnea is from a small town in Romania, where concepts such as transparency and social equity are not widespread. This is why, from a young age, Mihnea has been inclined to take it upon himself to fight for democracy and transparency in his communities! 

Policies: 

  • Sustainability and Environment

  • Timeline of Grades: Despite the standard waiting period for results being 15 days, professors often do not adhere to this timeline when grading, leading to delays of up to 3 weeks or longer! Mihnea wants to highlight this issue as students require sufficient time to review grades and assess their progress. Thus, a shortened grading time would enable students to effectively track their learning. 

  • Changing Evaluation Sheets for Courses: Mihnea aims to modify the evaluation sheets to make them more detailed, such that the feedback is aligned with the students’ goals of the course. 

  • Inclusion: To allow for a systematic yet enjoyable inclusion of new students into the UvA student community, Mihnea has put forth a proposal to start an INTER buddy system. Through this, new students can be paired up with existing students to provide them with guidance and support while transitioning into university life. 

 

3. Jari Marín Holla (FdR Candidate) 

Jari, a 2nd year Dutch PPLE student majoring in Psychology, has long held an interest in politics but has felt disconnected from it. While he desired to discuss issues, he lacked the know-how to resolve issues at the university. This drove him to become a candidate for INTER, with many interesting policies that emphasise the notion that student politics is not just for students but also by students! 

Policies: 

  • Connections: Jari’s goal is to foster better connections between FSR, CSR, and the student body, increasing awareness about student politics among students.

  • Encouraging Student Participation in Politics and the Policy Creation Process 

  • Quality of Education and Mental Health: As a psychology student, Jari understands the critical nature of students’ mental health, which is why he advocates for greater consistency, flexibility, and transparency, within examination structures to support student well-being. While considering the validity of following deadlines for assignments, Jari believes that students should not be penalised for genuine reasons behind incompletion. Hence, Jari also would like to promote a more supportive academic environment at UvA.

4. Daphne Stamou (FdR Candidate) 

Hailing from Greece, Daphne, a 2nd year PPLE student majoring in Politics, is keen on highlighting issues that plague international students at UvA. Her policies reflect her mission to allow new students to ease into an unfamiliar environment. 

Policies: 

  • Values of Democracy and Transparency: CSR and FSR meeting proceedings should be made transparent and publicised to the general student body. 

  • Course Evaluation Feedback: Daphne proposes shifting course evaluations from the end of courses to the middle, enabling real-time feedback during lectures and tutorials. This aims to establish a constructive system through active interaction between students and the faculties. 

  • Student Health and Welfare Policies: Being an international student herself, Daphne wants to make the city life more accessible for students like her through information provision on living alone in Amsterdam. She proposes 3 main agendas: 

  1. Language integration classes, which promote UvA Dutch language courses, 

  2. Public transport knowledge, 

  3. Increasing the distribution of 2nd hand textbooks

FMG Candidates

1. Ioanna Kestoros (FMG Candidate)

As a 2nd year Humanities student, Ioanna’s goal as a candidate is to put forth policies that shed light on issues faced by Humanities students on a daily basis: no cafeteria in Humanities buildings, limited study spaces, lack of areas for social engagement, no lecture recordings, etc. Policies: 

  • Cafeteria Options for Humanities Students: Ioanna would appreciate it if food options are more vast and aren’t unfairly priced (which aligns with Anti-Kantine’s views). 

  • Help with Studying: There are many tasks Ioanna wants to achieve through this policy, such as, but not limited to: 

  1. Making more study spaces available for the large faculty of 7000 Humanity students! 

  2. Better study organisation, such as increased accessibility to recorded lectures or notes, which would make studying enjoyable

  • Mental Health: Ioanna understands the struggles of mental health issues and thus, wants to reduce stigma around such issues by organising student groups. In such groups, students can relate to one another and find solace in aiding each other. 

 

2. Viola Ferrante (FMG Candidate)

Viola is an English Language and Culture student who has put forth the following policy proposals driven by her views on sustainability.

Policies: 

  • Washing their Own Cups: Viola is a strong advocate for sustainability and this is reflected through her policy. While students currently bring their own cups to university, they lack the accessibility to clean them and reuse them. 

  • Reintroduce Vegan Meal Deals: This will make dining at UvA more sustainable and accessible for more students.

CSR Candidates

1. Noah Bisinger (CSR Candidate)

Noah Bisinger, a student who has been actively involved with Anti-kantine, went to negotiations and protests regarding dining options at UvA’s cafeteria. Despite such efforts, no significant progress was being made. Understanding the policy-making process is what drove Noah to become a candidate for CSR and to contribute to the university as much as he can. Through INTER’s platform, Noah wants to legitimise Anti-Kantine’s priorities. 

Policies: 

  • Goals of Anti-Kantine: Look forward to an exclusive interview of Noah by Konstanze Flemming to learn more about Anti-Kantine and their goals! 

  • Tensions between Dutch and international Students: Noah hopes to ease tensions between Dutch and international students by hosting Events/Buddy programmes and helping international students learn Dutch and integrate into the Dutch society. 

  • Encouraging Student Participation in Politics and Policy Making

 

2. Anna Serova (CSR Candidate)

Anna is a 2nd year PPLE student from Latvia, who has a variety of issues that she wants to resolve at the university. 

Policies: 

  • Protests and Communication between UvA and Representatives: Anna proposes an idea to prevent practical issues, such as university buildings from shutting down. This involves proper communication between protestors and UvA representatives, as well as sufficient details about where and when the protests will take place. 

  • Roeterseiland Campus-Centric: Student activity has been concentrated at the Roeterseiland Campus, however, it is not easily accessible for students who study at other campuses and live farther away. Anna wishes to change this by spreading student activity throughout all UvA campuses. 

  • Inclusivity of International Students

  • Language Inclusivity: In line with the respect for all spoken languages at UvA, Anna advocates for the integration of sign language by introducing sign-language interpreters at select lectures.

  • Cafeteria Food: Prices for food items should be uniform throughout campuses, along with quality and diversity! 

In addition to their commitments toward improving UvA and supporting the student body, INTER believes that everyone deserves quality education. As a part of this mission, 10% of the budget allocated for the elections will be donated to Students for Children, a student-run organisation at UvA which aims to make education accessible to underprivileged children across the world. 

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