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Yes to public transport, no to private hospitals. The platform of the medical student who, through government intervention, has won the right to campaign on campus
Last Friday, Maja Højgaard was handing out her business card on campus at the University of Copenhagen, when she was asked to leave. Monday, she was back, this time outside campus, but still technically on university property, when she was once again told she couldn’t canvas for her political party, the Social Democrats, and was threatened to be sanctioned by the dean.
Days later, Minister of Education Morten Østergaard convinced the university to reverse its policy and allow political canvassing on university property in order to get students — a voting bloc traditionally known for their low turnout — to get out and vote.
“I welcome the rule change: we should be able to contact students and explain our platform”, Maja says to the University Post when we finally caught up with her to ask her about what she is actually campaigning for.
Maja’s platform includes strengthening of public transport and prevention of hospitals’ privatisation. The first time she, successfully, ran for public office, was in 2009, when the debate of privately run hospitals was at the top of the public agenda.
“I don’t think you can use market mechanisms to decide matters of life and death”, Maja says.
The second pillar of Maja’s political platform is better coordination between bus networks and train, as well as a new light rail system, which connects the western suburb of greater Copenhagen, Glostrup, to the airport.
Regarding the student housing crisis in Copenhagen– a topic which the Social Democrats have previously discussed with the University post – Maja did not have a prepared response. But she says that as a current student, she was keenly aware of the situation.
She quickly suggested the return of ‘youth counselling’. An institution which was dismantled around 2006, according to Maja, youth counsellors were available from the municipality, and could assist students on issues such as finding accommodation, or employment.
The city and regional council elections are on 19 November.
If you are an EU citizen, or have lived in Denmark longer than three years, and over 18, you can vote. Read about the major parties and their policies here.
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