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Arts Faculty elections declared invalid, staff to vote again

Staff members at the Faculty of Arts will need to vote again in September for the personnel faction of their faculty council. The results of the May elections have been declared invalid.

After the elections, it turned out that employees with an on-call contract were not allowed to vote. This meant, among other things, that many of those working at the Language Centre, which falls under the Faculty of Arts, were excluded. They had been allowed to vote in previous years.

Objections

Geramé Wouters, a Dutch teacher at the Language Centre and candidate for the personnel faction, objected to the election results. She was three votes short of a seat on the council. If her colleagues had been allowed to vote, the outcome would probably have been different.

Union representative Maarten Goldberg and another member of staff also objected. In June, an advisory committee looked into the matter and in the summer ruled that they were right: the on-call employees should not have been removed from the electoral register.

Victory

‘We are very happy with the decision’, says Wouters. ‘We think it is truly a victory for democracy and we are pleased that the university board is prepared to act accordingly.’ The committee’s verdict is in fact an advice to the board, which must decide whether it will be adopted.

‘Of course we are pleased that our objection was validated,’ says Goldberg, ‘but I was particularly pleasantly surprised by the thoroughness with which the committee studied the documents. Regardless of the decision, that gives you the feeling that complaints are being dealt with seriously.’

New elections

The new elections for the Faculty of Arts’ personnel faction will be held between September 13 and 15. On August 31, all staff members who are entitled to vote will receive an e-mail to view the electoral register, which contains their details.

Employees who think they have been wrongly excluded from the electoral register – and therefore do not receive an e-mail – can send an e-mail to csb@rug.nl between August 31 and September 2.

The results of the elections for the University Council and for the student faction of the Faculty of Arts will remain valid.

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