BSS vice dean electable for new political party
Why did you decide to join the party as a candidate?
‘A good friend of mine who’s second on the list called me during the Christmas holidays. I thought he was joking at first, but he was serious. I got more into it when I heard the party’s ideals. I can criticise and yell all I want, but you can’t stay on the sidelines if you want things to change. It’s time to take action.’
What are the party’s ideals, exactly?
‘NLBeter wants to tackle the urgent issues concerning education, healthcare, and the environment. What’s so great about this party is that the people up for election are experts from the field. They know what they’re talking about. We have experience. We know how things work, since it’s our everyday business. It’s a great project that will bring something new to the political world.’
What will you contribute to the party?
‘Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve done a lot of research into how to organise education to allow students to learn and lecturers to work. I think I’ll be able to contribute to policy. In collaboration with lecturers and schools we can make ourselves be heard better.’
Will you be campaigning?
‘Ideally, yes. I’m not sure how that would work here at the university, since I’m a vice dean. I don’t want my two different roles to mix. But I definitely want national attention, by publishing articles in newspapers for example. I’m already doing that. Then again, I’m at the bottom of the list. There’s a reason I’m number thirteen on the list. They initially wanted to put me in fifth place, but that was a bit much for me. I don’t actually want a seat in the Lower House. I have two young children, so it’s not a great time for me to become a politician.’
What if enough people vote for you?
‘Then it’s on! I’d take my responsibility. But I’d want the best post, of course: minister of education, haha. If you really want to change things, you can’t be afraid. My partner and children support me, fortunately. They’ve seen how passionate I am. I’ve also informed the faculty. If people want me to leave Groningen, they should definitely vote for me. If the whole faculty ends up voting for me, I’ll know how they really feel about me!’