Ghent University rector/vice-rector elections: let’s do this together

Five times in a row we obtained very nice results during the first cycle of voting rounds, but a 2/3 majority was never reached. That is why on the 29th of May a second cycle of voting rounds started again consisting of (maximally) five rounds.

Because we do not want to instigate further polarisation and because many people (both within and outside of Ghent University) also do not want this, we have started up talks with Guido and Sarah in the past few weeks. Guido and Sarah’s programme was compared to ours and vice versa. That resulted in many similarities, but also in a number of issues that were present in one programme but not in the other.

After lengthy deliberations and starting from reciprocal trust that has been built up step by step, we have arrived at a common programme that contains the most important elements of our original programmes and that we can all fully embrace. We are convinced that the implementation of this programme would be very beneficial to our university and to the UGhentians.

We want to be the rector and vice-rector of everyone. Therefore, our renewed programme contains some important objectives that were provided by Guido and Sarah. The explicit desire – expressed by us and by many other people – to bring visions together, to let us all come together and to realise an ambitious project has led to a programme which is even better than our initial programmes.

In this manner, the precarious situation that emerged during/after the first cycle of voting rounds can be turned into positive actions that will reinforce our university. We have managed in the past few weeks to build bridges, to leave polarisation behind us and to aim for a common project for the whole university.

We now put this project before the electorate, with Guido and Sarah’s support and that of many other people. We obviously hope for your massive support so that we can bring these elections to an end and start to build the future of our university together.

Rik Van de Walle, rector candidate
Mieke Van Herreweghe, vice-rector candidate

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