Studenten Techniek In Politiek

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Studenten Techniek In Politiek (STIP) (English: Technology Students In Politics) is a local political party in the Netherlands. STIP was founded in 1993 and is run solely by students. As such STIP is, worldwide, the oldest active political party that is completely run by students. As of today only two successful examples of student parties being able to win seats in town hall exist. The members of this local political party deliberately rotate their seats after 1 year in town hall (instead of the regular four years) to combine their function with their studies. STIP is a unique democratic example of student involvement in local politics.

In many student cities there are conflicts between the regular civilian population of the city and its student population. Often this conflict remains unresolved partly because of under-representation of students within official representative organs such as town hall. The concept of a student party as a way to increase student representation in local government was named as one of the best case practices to increase student friendliness of European cities.[1]

The branch of STIP in the city of Delft has been taking part in the local town hall elections since 1994. A majority share of the members of the party are students of Delft University of Technology. During the election of 1994 the party gained one out of 37 seats of town hall and became part of the opposition. As of 2006, the part occupies 2 out of 37 seats in town hall and takes part in the governing coalition.

Ideology[edit]

Since the members of STIP are from all different political background one cannot speak of a specific ideology other that of a pragmatic view on local problems. STIP is not affiliated with a national political party. In the last years STIP has been part of local majority coalitions together with the PvdA (Labour Party), VVD (Liberals), GroenLinks (Green party) and D66 (Democrats). This gives a hint to the personal ideological preferences of the student members.

The lack of a classical political ideology has so far not proven a major obstacle during elections.

History[edit]

STIP was founded in 1993 by members of the university student council.[2] Their aim was to improve the cooperation between the University and the municipality and to improve the relation between the student and the civilian population.

  • 1994 Elections: STIP gained 1 seat in town hall and became a member of the opposition.
  • 1998 Elections: STIP gained 2 seats in town hall and became a member of the coalition. They were allowed to contribute an alderman. At the age of 21 they became the youngest alderman in the Netherlands
  • 2002 Elections: STIP gained 3 seats in town hall and became a member of the coalition. They were allowed to contribute an alderman.
  • 2006 Election: STIP gained 2 seats in town hall and became a member of the coalition. They were allowed to contribute an alderman.

Election results[edit]

The amount of votes and seats STIP has gained during the elections (the Delft city council has 37 members and 5 deputy mayors):

Year Votes Percentage Seats Deputy mayors Coalition
1994 2111 x 1 0 No
1998 2524 x 2 1 PvdA, GroenLinks, STIP, D66
2002 3698 8,2% 3 1 PvdA, VVD, GroenLinks, STIP, D66
2006 3026 7,0% 2 1 PvdA, VVD, GroenLinks, STIP
2010 3287 8,0% 3 1 D66, PvdA, GroenLinks, CDA, STIP
2014 5072 11,4% 4 1 D66, STIP, GroenLinks, PvdA, VVD

The concept of a student party[edit]

Involvement of student in local politics is a novelty. Only two such examples exist. The other example being "Student en Stad". Similar examples in other cities have tried but not succeeded. STIP has consulted in failed attempts by students in Eindhoven ("Eindhovense Studenten") and Leiden ("WijLeiden").

Other examples of students running on a personal basis also exist:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Student City By Leo van den Berg, Antonio Paolo Russo, European Institute for Comparative Urban Research
  2. ^ STIP in Nova