With the elections for the TU's Student Council slated to take place next week, Rose Manoucheri of the Oras student party looks set to become the first international student to hold a seat on influential Student Council. Her campaign pledge: to make life better for international students.

In political-speak, TU Delft‘s international students would be called an expanding constituency or new demographic. As more and more international students enroll at the university, their specific concerns demand greater attention.Until now, international students have had no real direct political representation. But that could soon change. If elected, Oras (Organization of Rational Students) candidate, Roujiar 'Rose' Manoucheri, 23, promises to help move international student issues to the top of the TU's agenda.Manoucheri, born in Tehran, Iran, moved to Holland at age 14, settling in Den Haag, where her father works for the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Having completed her BSc degree at TU Delft, Manoucheri is currently an MSc student at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.What does the Student Council actually do?The Student Council is comprised of ten members drawn from the two parties running in this election. The council represents the interests of all TU students, and regularly meets with the TU's Executive Board, vice president of education and faculty councils."What issues are ORAS campaigning on in this election?"Our main focus is education, extracurricular activities, internationalization and facilities. I'll be focusing on internationalization, as I'm familiar with the issues of both Dutch and international students in this area."The internationalization process at the TU is ongoing, so why is this a campaign issue?"We feel there's still a need for change, like improving integration between international and Dutch students, improving the housing situation, and also continuing to work to overcome the Dutch/English language barrier."Will Student Council meetings be held in Dutch or English?"Meetings will be held in Dutch for now, as they've always been. It'd be too much of a radical change to suddenly hold all meetings in English."You speak Dutch but aren't entirely fluent. Are you worried your command of Dutch won't be good enough for high-level meetings with the TU's Executive Board?"No, not really, and if I have any problems I'm sure my colleagues will help me out. The TU Delft community is a helpful community."A long-standing criticism of TU Delft is that we're some ten years into the internationalization process and international students still don't have a central meeting place, like a club or union on campus where they can meet and socialize. Do you support the creation of an 'International Student Society'?"Definitely, and my time on the council would be a great opportunity to finally get this done. In fact, when I first came to TU Delft I looked for such a place, and was disappointed to find out there wasn't one."Most international students are MSc students, while by far the largest group of students remains Dutch BSc students. Do you think the typical Dutch BSc student really cares about internationalization?"They should, because with globalization, someday we'll all be professionals out there competing for the same jobs. All TU students need international skills, like inter-cultural communication. You learn such skills at an international university. So we're encouraging all TU students to care about internationalization, because it's in their own best interest to care about it."If, as you say, internationalization and representing international students are so important, why are you only #4 on Oras' candidate list? Shouldn't you be higher, like #1 or #2?"Well, considering this is the first time an international student is presented as a candidate on the ORAS board, #4 is quite a high position. Based on our previous election experiences, we expect to win at least four seats on the council; therefore, we expect internationalization to be on the top of ORAS's agenda next year."Serving on the Student Council requires you to take one year off from your studies. Is it really worth sacrificing a year of your professional life for this?"I don't see it as a sacrifice. As the first international student council member, I'll be blazing a trail for others to follow. This is a great opportunity for me to speak directly to the decision-makers, and I'm sure concrete results will follow."Your profile isn't really that of the typical international student. Your parents live in Holland, you speak Dutch and have Dutch friends, you did your BSc degree in Dutch. Wouldn't a more typical international student - alone here, unable to speak Dutch - be a better candidate for really making the university understand the problems and challenges facing international students?"Not necessarily. I think I'm a sort of a bridge, with a foot in both worlds, and at this time, even for practical purposes, this is best. It's the start of changes to come."What qualities do you have that make you an ideal candidate for the Student Council?"I've always been active at this university, and ORAS supports active students. I have a large student network, both Dutch and international, so I'm familiar with both communities and can therefore represent the interests of both groups in the area of internationalization."If you had stayed in Iran, gone to university there, could you have achieved as much as you have here?"Actually, Iranian women are very ambitious and motivated to achieve, because they must overcome obstacles in order to gain equality. In Iran I probably would've been even more active, even more of a fighter for change and improvement, than I have been here up to now."Last question: Hilary or Obama?"Obama. 'Yes we can. We want change!' I like that. Obama just seems more genuine, whereas Hilary seems to be more into chasing the power."@01 infoblokje:'Vote early, vote often’, gangster Al Capone once cynically advised his local electorate. Or at least early for the TU Student Council elections: Voting starts at 8:00 on May 21, and ends at 17:00 on May 22.Rose Manoucheri (Photo: Sam Rentmeester/FMAX)

In political-speak, TU Delft‘s international students would be called an expanding constituency or new demographic. As more and more international students enroll at the university, their specific concerns demand greater attention.Until now, international students have had no real direct political representation. But that could soon change. If elected, Oras (Organization of Rational Students) candidate, Roujiar 'Rose' Manoucheri, 23, promises to help move international student issues to the top of the TU's agenda.Manoucheri, born in Tehran, Iran, moved to Holland at age 14, settling in Den Haag, where her father works for the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Having completed her BSc degree at TU Delft, Manoucheri is currently an MSc student at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.What does the Student Council actually do?The Student Council is comprised of ten members drawn from the two parties running in this election. The council represents the interests of all TU students, and regularly meets with the TU's Executive Board, vice president of education and faculty councils."What issues are ORAS campaigning on in this election?"Our main focus is education, extracurricular activities, internationalization and facilities. I'll be focusing on internationalization, as I'm familiar with the issues of both Dutch and international students in this area."The internationalization process at the TU is ongoing, so why is this a campaign issue?"We feel there's still a need for change, like improving integration between international and Dutch students, improving the housing situation, and also continuing to work to overcome the Dutch/English language barrier."Will Student Council meetings be held in Dutch or English?"Meetings will be held in Dutch for now, as they've always been. It'd be too much of a radical change to suddenly hold all meetings in English."You speak Dutch but aren't entirely fluent. Are you worried your command of Dutch won't be good enough for high-level meetings with the TU's Executive Board?"No, not really, and if I have any problems I'm sure my colleagues will help me out. The TU Delft community is a helpful community."A long-standing criticism of TU Delft is that we're some ten years into the internationalization process and international students still don't have a central meeting place, like a club or union on campus where they can meet and socialize. Do you support the creation of an 'International Student Society'?"Definitely, and my time on the council would be a great opportunity to finally get this done. In fact, when I first came to TU Delft I looked for such a place, and was disappointed to find out there wasn't one."Most international students are MSc students, while by far the largest group of students remains Dutch BSc students. Do you think the typical Dutch BSc student really cares about internationalization?"They should, because with globalization, someday we'll all be professionals out there competing for the same jobs. All TU students need international skills, like inter-cultural communication. You learn such skills at an international university. So we're encouraging all TU students to care about internationalization, because it's in their own best interest to care about it."If, as you say, internationalization and representing international students are so important, why are you only #4 on Oras' candidate list? Shouldn't you be higher, like #1 or #2?"Well, considering this is the first time an international student is presented as a candidate on the ORAS board, #4 is quite a high position. Based on our previous election experiences, we expect to win at least four seats on the council; therefore, we expect internationalization to be on the top of ORAS's agenda next year."Serving on the Student Council requires you to take one year off from your studies. Is it really worth sacrificing a year of your professional life for this?"I don't see it as a sacrifice. As the first international student council member, I'll be blazing a trail for others to follow. This is a great opportunity for me to speak directly to the decision-makers, and I'm sure concrete results will follow."Your profile isn't really that of the typical international student. Your parents live in Holland, you speak Dutch and have Dutch friends, you did your BSc degree in Dutch. Wouldn't a more typical international student - alone here, unable to speak Dutch - be a better candidate for really making the university understand the problems and challenges facing international students?"Not necessarily. I think I'm a sort of a bridge, with a foot in both worlds, and at this time, even for practical purposes, this is best. It's the start of changes to come."What qualities do you have that make you an ideal candidate for the Student Council?"I've always been active at this university, and ORAS supports active students. I have a large student network, both Dutch and international, so I'm familiar with both communities and can therefore represent the interests of both groups in the area of internationalization."If you had stayed in Iran, gone to university there, could you have achieved as much as you have here?"Actually, Iranian women are very ambitious and motivated to achieve, because they must overcome obstacles in order to gain equality. In Iran I probably would've been even more active, even more of a fighter for change and improvement, than I have been here up to now."Last question: Hilary or Obama?"Obama. 'Yes we can. We want change!' I like that. Obama just seems more genuine, whereas Hilary seems to be more into chasing the power."@01 infoblokje:'Vote early, vote often’, gangster Al Capone once cynically advised his local electorate. Or at least early for the TU Student Council elections: Voting starts at 8:00 on May 21, and ends at 17:00 on May 22.Rose Manoucheri (Photo: Sam Rentmeester/FMAX)