It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to run for a seat in the faculty council, but it proved to be a good one. With 138 votes, first-year psychology student Elena Sofia Silva won a seat in the council of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences as a one-woman-party.
Was your election a surprise for you, or did you know it was a good possibility?
“I was happily surprised, because I didn’t expect to win with such a large number of votes. I received positive reactions from all the people I talked to about my candidature, so I was hoping for good news, but 138 people believing in me is a great honour.”
Why do you think so many people voted for you?
“I’m always very active at lectures and I like to make new friends on campus at meetings, workshops and even just having lunch at the same table. People know me as a smiley person, easy to talk to and with an open, international mind. It’s easy to see how I can be stubborn and fight for what I believe in. Probably the voters saw those qualities and bet on me.”
‘The best celebration for me is when I walk around on campus and people stop to congratulate me’
Did you enjoy the announcement of the election results?
“I really enjoyed the announcement. It was like an American film, when all the parties are around a big screen waiting for the last region to be disclosed. It was very fun. I was there with a friend and my sister. The joy that the winning parties showed was like a burst of energy. There were candidates screaming, others were crying in happiness or sadness, but they were all there. Besides all, they complimented each other: this is a sign of great honour and respect which I admire. I really felt electricity in the air in that room, so many young women and men passionate about their university.”
Did you have a big celebration?
“I celebrated the results with my family, who were here in Tilburg for Easter to visit me. After seeing the results, I wrote to the friends who stood by me since the start, to thank them. The best celebration for me is when I walk around on campus and people stop to congratulate me. Their trust is the biggest present.”
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