Why you should care about the student elections

The process of the student elections is now underway. But why should you, as an international student, vote for these student elections?

Illustration: Henriette Frøysland Thorkildsen
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If you are an international or an exchange student at the University of Bergen (UiB), perhaps you didn’t hear about the student elections taking place these days. All students registered at UiB, including international and exchange students, have the opportunity to vote for their representatives.

These are important elections. I say «these» because there are indeed two elections. You have to choose your delegates both at the university parliament and at the university board. The university parliament is the student representative body in charge of making decisions on behalf of the students. You will have to choose between six lists, each promoting a different program for the student parliament, where 24 seats are at stake.

You are also invited to choose your representatives at the university board, the supreme body of the university, that has the decision-making authority, where two students have to be elected to sit side-by-side with the principal. We are lucky, there is an English version of it, where you will also find the presentation of each candidate both in Norwegian and in English.

This is all practical information. But the real question is: Why should you vote?

If you are an exchange student, you are probably going to leave Bergen in June or July, and the UiB will remain no more than a very good souvenir and a great experience in your mind. Same if you are an international student. Even if you stay a little bit longer, why should you care about these elections that are taking place here, far from your home university?

Think about the next generation of international and exchange students coming. They deserve to have someone raise their voices and fight for their concerns. Probably the same issues as you experienced. So, who is in a better position than you to know the preoccupation of the future exchange students? It’s also by voting that you make student parties care about international and exchange students’ issues.

You should definitely vote since this is probably the only opportunity you will have in your life to vote for a student parliament that actually has real decision-making power. It is indeed stated in the Norwegian Law that every educational institution should have a democratically elected student body, consulted in all matters concerning the students. So why not show your interest in this system by voting, and maybe by doing something to contribute to spreading this idea?


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