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Student Council candidate wins - drop in voter numbers

One step forward and one step backwards - the number of voters dropped by four percentage points, but the amount of votes each student placed went up three per cent in this year's University of Copenhagen student elections

Svend Erik Garbus from Conservative Students doubled his votes from 2013, but still lost the top spot to Søren Axel Petersen from the Student Council, who also won the majority of the electoral seats.

Studenterrådet’s (Student Council) top candidate, Søren Axel Petersen, was given the top position as Board Representative. Although he received 1,000 fewer personal votes than last year’s winner, Gwen Gruner-Widding, his 737 votes were still highest among all the candidates – and 117 votes more than the runner up, Conservative Students Party member Svend Erik Garbus.

“I’m really happy for the support, both for me personally and for all Student Council candidates in the faculties,” says Søren Axel Petersen, who also notes that the turnout for board elections fell to 15.5 percent, down from last year.

“I think it is a pity and hope that our work in the coming election year can make more people interested in student democracy. Both for our everyday lives as a students and for the university’s development,” said Petersen. “Perhaps many students feel powerless when the study reform and dimensioning sweep over the university. Many don’t think that the reforms are something that they influence – even if university policy is very much in the media at the moment, it is from a negative angle.”

Can you change any of this with a seat on the board at the university? em>
“There are many who doubt this, but I actually think we have a great influence in the debate of politicians’ plans and in the implementation of them,’ Petersen says to Danish-language site Uniavisen. ”It is also us on the board who have financial responsibility at the university, so we can help to mitigate the negative effects of the reform. And then we, the student representatives, can help to get education on the agenda at UCPH, and here we are strong because we also cooperate with the elected in faculty councils. ”

A close race – but only on paper h2>
Svend Erik Garbus’ 620 votes was almost double his personal votes from 2013, although still far from securing the top spot.

Student Council presented 89 candidates for the board divided into 14 electoral lists, which are all in the same election coalition. This means that all 4,632 votes on the Student Council lists or candidates go to the main candidate, Søren Axel Petersen. Svend Erik Garbus would have had to increase his performance eightfold in order to win the election.

Svend Erik Garbus has won one thing at this year’s UCPH-election. He and Bonnie Edahl Hoelstad from Conservative Students will sit in the Academic Faculty Committee next year. The Conservatives took a seat away from the Student Council, who previously held three out of four seats. In return, Conservative Lawyers give one of their two seats on the Board of Studies in Law (Bachelor) to the Student Council.

Like last year, Conservative Students have a seat in the Academic Council in the Law faculty, while Conservative Lawyers won a seat in the Study Board for the Master’s program. All of the other 20 contested seat for the University’s board were won by the Student Council’s candidates.

Fewer students gave more votes h2>
This year, 15.5 percent of students voted for the board election. This represents a decrease from the 19.3 percent from last year, when the election took place while the massive student protests against the reform.

“It’s not a tremendously great turnout,” said Vice Director of Education Anni Søborg to “I’m glad that participation has not gone back compared to 2012 [when 14.8 percent voted, ed.]. But I think it’s sad that less than 20 percent go to the ballot box. The students who are elected have the real influence in the study councils. It would be great if more people voted. ”

One increase was seen this year. Student can vote for multiple candidates, and the total number of votes cast increased this year to 17,328, compared to only 16,783 last year.

On the University Post the interest in the elections has increased compared to last year. Over 2,600 took the online election test showing students which candidates they most align with.

You can see all the election winners on KUnet.

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