Student party debate cancelled

The debate between the party leaders of Lijst Calimero, DAG, and SOG which was to happen on Monday afternoon did not take place. The parties were unable to reach a consensus on the topics. ‘It’s just background polemics’, says Lijst Calimero president Daan van Dijk.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The party leaders were supposed to face each other in the stately Senate room at the Academy building. The debate was meant to convince students why they should vote in the elections, which will be held next week. But student parties DAG and SOG pulled out at the last minute.

‘Things just compounded’, says SOG faction chair Evan Clark. ‘All three of us handed in our topic last week. We had agreed on them and we were preparing for them. But then Calimero came up with a new topic on Saturday, a day and a half before the debate. That was the last straw for us. We felt it was disrespectful to us and the time we’d invested in preparing. DAG had already pulled out, and we weren’t interested in debating Calimero alone.’


SOG wanted to debate on the topic that the RUG should do more to inspire students. DAG wanted to discuss the plans for a branch campus in Yantai. And Calimero wanted to defend the position that the RUG should do more to increase academic skills in students. Over the weekend, that last one was changed to: The RUG should do more to decrease stress among students.

‘We wanted to discuss something that students truly care about. To us, that was the pressure of studying’, explains Van Dijk. ‘Many students don’t even know about Yantai.’


SOG and DAG were not happy with the last minute change. ‘We foresee the discussion derailing into sad monologues by two parties talking at each other rather than to each other. It won’t mean anything to the voters’, DAG said in a statement.

‘People in the party were wondering if we should even participate in a debate where the topics would only lead to one-sided answers. The topics presented by SOG and Calimero weren’t really something you can even debate, no matter how important stress and inspiration may be. Everyone agrees that students should have decent academic skills and feel inspired’, DAG says.


This means the opportunity for a debate among the three parties before the elections has passed. All three parties are disappointed. ‘We never wanted this’, says Van Dijk. ‘We were hoping to have a proper discussion. Many people were interested., especially now that there’s a new party: it’s interesting for students to learn how our parties differ. But now they’ll never know.’

SOG, Lijst Calimero, and DAG will each go their own way. ‘We’re all busy preparing for the campaign’, says SOG’s Evan Clark.




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