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Candidates for the Political Science Master's Programme Committee

11 October 2021

The Programme Committee advises the institute and faculty councils about everything that concerns education. It actively contributes to quality assurance of the Institute’s bachelor’s and master’s programmes. Both staff and students are represented in the programme committees. They maintain close contact with their constituencies, for whom they serve as a point of contact. Student members of the Programme Committee are elected for a one-year term.

The Master’s Programme Committee is composed of three students. On place is reserved for a student from a Hague-based specialisation, the other from a Leiden-based specialisation; the final seat goes to the next highest vote recipient, regardless of the city in which their specialisation is based. In the event that there is only one candidate from The Hague or Leiden, this candidate will automatically be granted the position and will not be on the ballot. All students in the Masters Political Science, regardless of track, have the right to vote for one candidate for the OLC, one can vote for any of the candidates, regardless of specialization. The top vote receiving candidates are elected.

The voting will take place from 19 to 23 October 2021. You will receive an e-mail from the Student Services Centre containing further information and a link to the poll. Meanwhile, please take a moment to familiarise with the candidates.

These students have kindly nominated themselves for a seat:

Madeleine Christiaanse (International Politics)

My name is Madeleine Christiaanse and I am 23 years old. I studied IBO at Leiden University and currently I am doing the International Politics track as my masters (starting September 2021). I would make a good representative for the OLC because I have experience as a teacher (I teach high school students with special needs) and am therefore able to create solutions that work for the student as well as the teacher. Next to this experience, I am especially able to help students who need extra help (e.g. autism, ADHD and dyslexia or whatever else life throws at you), this is partly due to my teaching experience but also because I deal with ADD in my own life.

I am there for everybody who needs help in their studies but I also offer my help in finding housing or other issues related to living and studying in the Netherlands. Which you might have noticed already in the great Whatsapp group. If I am elected as your representative you can text or call me 24/7 to help you out with making your time at Leiden University the best possible.

Watch Madeleine’s video

Merle Giehler (International Organisation)

My name is Merle - many of you know me as Millie - Giehler and I am a political science student specialising in International Organisation in the Hague. By working closely with the student body and implementing your ideas and feedback, I want to help further the quality of our education, which is why I am running to be a student member of the Programme Committee. I believe my active engagement with the student body, both in and outside the classroom, makes me the perfect candidate to represent your educational interests. Since I have had positive experience as a student representative in the past, I am eager to apply my knowledge and develop it further. I look forward to working with you so that we can make university life & this programme the best it can be for students and professors alike. Let’s make this year a good one!

Watch Merle’s video

Sergio Beneitez Pajares (International Politics)

My name is Sergio and I am a 26-year student from Spain. I have recently graduated from International Relations and Organisations in The Hague, and I am currently following the specialisation of International Politics.

After my very different educational experiences in Spain and The Netherlands, I have become deeply interested in how institutional constraints can influence the academic development of students. Since these choices are often the result of top-down deliberation, I believe this Committee presents an exceptional opportunity for turning things around and incorporating student input into structural decisions that affect us all. Further, since I am thinking about following a PhD here, I am eager to know what students think about the programme and to learn how student-led changes can be implemented.

I am looking forward to knowing what your ideas and recommendations for improving the programme are, and I will do my best to translate these ideas into workable proposals. I am always more than happy to discuss University matters with you over a beer or a coffee and I will definitely be always available for any issue that you can encounter. Good luck with the programme to all of you!

Watch Sergio’s video

Koen Reedijk (Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Development)

Hi everyone! I want to become a member of the Programme Committee. I am following the Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Development track. I want to improve our education, especially after an entire year online.

I have a lot of experience in education. Last year I have served as a board member of a political youth organization. Here, I was responsible for the quality of the education programme and a counsellor for members who felt unsafe. I also have worked at several high schools. I have guided students who are struggling with their grades and their mental health. COVID made it even harder to talk about these problems. I want to use my experience to improve our master courses.

I believe that good courses need a safe and open space to discuss and disagree. Students should feel comfortable addressing the problems of their courses. This will be my priority.

To improve our education, I would like to get to know what you love and hate about our program. So, if you face problems or want to vent about that impossible deadline, you can always come to me. I hope I will have your trust!

Watch Koen’s video

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