University elections 2019: Who will represent you in AU’s top decision-making body?

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November is election time for students and employees at Aarhus University. This year, only one of the student spots on the AU Board is up for election. But only one of the three employee representatives is running for a second term. And at Science and Technology, which is being split up, elections for some posts will be postponed until next year as a consequence.

2019.10.29 | Marie Groth Andersen

Ditte Marie Thomsen (left), who is one of the two student representatives on the board, will continue on as a member next year. She was elected to a two-year term last year. The two employee representatives Susanne Bødker (left) and Anna Louise Plaskett will not seek reelection. Søren Pold is running for reelection as the academic staff representative. Photos: Lars Kruse and Ida Marie Jensen. Graphics Astrid Reitzel

About the university elections

Voting in the university election will start on November 11th at 9 am and will end on November 14th at 4 pm.

Both employees and students can stand for election and vote in the elections.

This year, elections are being held for the following seats:

  • Employee (both academic and technical-administrative) and student representatives on AU’s board
  • Student representatives on the boards of studies
  • PhD student representatives on the PhD committees
  • Employee (both academic and technical-administrative), student and PhD student representatives on the academic councils

The elections will take place online.

Read more about the elections on AU’s official election website.

The student organisations Frit Forum, Konservative Studenter, Borgerlige Jurister and the Student Council have all decorated windows, bulletin boards and other suitable surfaces with election posters full of slogans and smiling candidates battling for a seat on AU’s board.

This year, for the first time, there is only one contested student rep seat. New election rules have been adopted that mean that each of the two student representatives is elected for a two-year period. An election will be held for one of the two seats every year. Because this election period is transitional, the Student Council representative on the board, Ditte Marie Thomsen, has been granted a two-year term because the Student Council received the most votes in last year’s elections. This means that the seat that went to Konservative Studenter last year is up for election again this year.

Difficult for Konservative Studenter to keep their seat

Traditionally, the Student Council has held a virtual lock on the two student seats on the AU Board. But last year, Konservative Studenter and Frit Forum made an electoral pact that meant that one of the two student seats on the board went to Konservative Studenter for the first time.

Since then, the election rules have been amended, and the new rules will make it difficult for Konservative Studenter to keep their seat. So the Student Council will most likely take both seats on the board again.

READ MORE: Historic election result: Konservative Studenter  Conservative students) snags an AU Board seat from the Student Council

New employee representative on University Board

But the students aren’t the only group going to the polls to decide who will represent them on the AU Board. AU’s employees are voting for their reps as well. While students vote in reps to the board each year, employees only vote every four years, as all three employee reps on the board are elected to four-year terms.

Academic staff have two seats on the board, while technical-administrative staff have one.

Anna Louise Plaskett, team leader at the Faculty of Arts’ graduate school, has represented technical-administrative employees on the board for the last four years. She is not seeking reelection this year.

“I’ve decided to focus 100% on my job as team leader at the graduate school at Arts. But it’s been extremely interesting to sit on the board. I normally work in the engine room of the organisation, but on the board, you’re all the way up in the helicopter. And I will say that I was surprised to discover the extent to which the university is managed from the outside, especially by the government,” she says.

Susanne Bødker, a professor of computer scientist who is one of the two current academic staff reps, has already served two terms, which means she is not eligible to seek reelection under AU’s by-laws.  

Vote!

Søren Pold, an associate professor professor of digital design and information studies, is the only employee with a seat on the board who is seeking reelection. And he encourages employees and students to vote, so that their representatives are given the strongest possible mandate:

“The greater involvement there is in the election, the stronger are we as representatives. It’s about creating the strongest possible platform for us and the students on the board,” he explains.

Monday 28 October at 4 pm is the deadline for employees and students to register their candidacy for the university elections to the board, the boards of studies, the academic councils and PhD committees. A list of candidates will subsequently be published on AU’s official election webpage.

The division of ST: Elections to some seat postponed

Another unusual aspect of this year’s elections is that only elections to the board, the local boards of studies and for student reps to the PhD committees will be held at the Faculty of Science and Technology. Elections of employee reps (academic and technical-administrative staff) to the academic council are suspended this year, because the faculty is being split up into two separate faculties on January 1st 2020. The terms of the current representatives to the academic council will be extended until general university elections are held again in fall of 2020.

About the university elections

Voting in the university election will start on November 11th at 9 am and will end on November 14th at 4 pm.

Both employees and students can stand for election and vote in the elections.

This year, elections are being held for the following seats:

  • Employee (both academic and technical-administrative) and student representatives on AU’s board
  • Student representatives on the boards of studies
  • PhD student representatives on the PhD committees
  • Employee (both academic and technical-administrative), student and PhD student representatives on the academic councils

The elections will take place online.

Read more about the elections on AU’s official election website.

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