Two internationals for University Council

Calimero is putting forth an international candidate for the University Council for the first time. SOG is doing it for the third year in a row.

Student party SOG is nominating an international for the University Council for the third year in a row now. This year, Takudzwa Mutezo (21), an International and European Law student from Zimbabwe, is their number 3 candidate.

‘By placing her in that position, we want to show that we think it’s really important to represent internationals’, says Veerle Brink, chair of the 2013-2014 SOG group. Mutezo is certainly in a good place and the position of their internationals has ascended the ranks over time: in 2012, SOG’s first foreign candidate, Ritwik Swain, was ranked 7th and their current international, Alexandra Crisan, was 4th.

Keep up with the competition

Brink takes pride in SOG setting a precedent for international representation: ‘I think [Calimero] saw that it is very important to represent internationals. It works.’ Calimero admits that they want to keep up with their competition and are nominating their first international candidate: William Pitz, (21) a psychology student from England, is ranked 7th.

While he is indeed an international, Pitz insists that he would not put foreign student’s needs above others. ‘I would not like to be seen as “the international representative”,’ he affirms. ‘After all, we are all students – no matter where we come from.’

Mutezo disagrees. ‘I have a specific goal to facilitate for the internationals, as they often have different needs in comparison to the Dutch students’, she says.

Hasty translations

One such need is having important information available in English, and that counts for the University Council itself. Mutezo would have to rely on a translator during the council meetings. Pitz, however, speaks Dutch proficiently. ‘That’s definitely an advantage’, says Hannelore Vanderveen, vice-chair of Calimero.

While acknowledging that the council is obligated to make sure international members understand what is being discussed in the meetings, Vanderveen questions the benefit of having English summaries. ‘It could compromise the quality of our representative’s work if they are relying on hastily-translated English documents’, she worries.

Total package

Whether in Dutch or English, Vanderveen is adamant that international’s interests are important to all Calimero candidates. In that same vein, she says that Calimero chose Pitz based on his qualifications, not just because he’s British. ‘It’s more about the total package than about nationality,’ she states.

SOG’s current international representative, Alexandra Crisan, has insisted on the necessity of making the documents available in English. According to Brink, Crisan has been in contact with the Language Center to discuss having them translate the materials before the meetings. Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken will have to decide on that.