A political shift in youth?: The mega-city union and its allies win major university elections

In the recent university elections, extremism and allied groups prevailed in most student centers

In the first face-to-face college elections two years after the pandemic, The majority of young people voted for the “Reform Front” lists. — which incorporates groups related to the University of California and its allies — in elections for student positions to major academic institutions in the country. Where the “purple” wave grew further with notable victories at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the National University of La Plata (UNLP), Córdoba (UNC) and Rosario (United Nations)..

The orientation makes possible the hypothesis of a certain change in the political preferences and needs of students in large urban centers. Not a little while ago, university students in the central region of the country saw greater sympathy with groups associated with Peronism and left-wing militancy.

Electoral transformations in public university affairs. Not only because of its electoral size, which exceeds municipalities and intermediate cities – AU alone has a 300,000 student registry – but because it is a hotbed of militancy and one of the places where it has, traditionally, given political and economic leadership since the university reform of 1918.

In the last elections In UBA, the role that began to be observed since 2019 has been consolidated, when radicalism returned to leadership of the Federation of Universities of Buenos Aires (FUBA) by displacing the then-alliance between Partido Obrero (PO) and other student left groups such as La Mella. For nearly a decade, the iconic Purple Strip has been out of that space.

In the last call to the polls, the reformist front headed by “New Space” She validated her dominance in the seven student centers she had already ledSuch as economics, medicine, law, engineering, dentistry, psychology and architecture. And he added another one agricultural engineeringThe independent group LAI – which has good relations with the rural sectors – beat the outgoing center-left leadership and La Campora.

From the leadership of FUBA, The left was confined only to pharmacy and veterinary medicine, while Peronism and its allies remained in the Exactas, and reconfirmed in philosophy and literature. In the Faculty of Social Affairs, the Peruni Sector (UES) won, although it is a group that does not deny support for the reformist purple sector. The Colleges of Engineering and Dentistry have chosen to represent the independent organizations.

There is a major quantum leap in this election. When you see the 13 student centers at UBA, about 9 of them learn about FUBA’s “correctional” leadership. Never before has there been a setback from the Left nor Campora‘, handle Ramiro tellerthe current president of FUBA.

Student centers and each faculty board representatives of UBA have been renewed
Student centers and each faculty board representatives of UBA have been renewed

Kathryn Kaplanformer president of the Center for Students of Philosophy and Literature (CEFyL) and a member of El Colectivo – a current transmission related to the Todos Front – considered the election results in UBA to be “One of the symptoms of the state of the student movement in particular and the youth in general“.

“It is clear that in the face of the economic crisis we have been going through since 2018, which is being deepened by the pandemic, The student body has changed in relation to their needs. He explained that most of us have to go out to work so that we can study and we hope that the basic conditions for our continuation are guaranteed in colleges, such as cheap banknotes, student canteens or scholarships, adding: “I think that many students choose groups whose main policy is to solve and guarantee these conditionsin particular, though not only, is characterized by reformism.

On the other hand, Sarraf explained a more political shift, in which the student body returned Raising the flags of education, freedom and democracy, all ideas associated with radicalismAnd he linked it to running the All-In-Higher Frontier in a pandemic, slashing the university’s budget, a fact denounced by reformist lists.

“We raised this flag, when they took from the camp sectors a complicit and supportive agenda of the government. The people using these lists did not like it. The university student is very critical,” the FUBA president explained.

La Plata, Cordoba and Rosario also witnessed movements

in UNLP, The UCR-compliant reformatory held elections at the beginning of April in which it won 10 out of 17 student centers, many of them by a large majority. The great novelty of this election occurred in two colleges: Psychology and computer scienceWhere the “Violet Ribbon” succeeded in removing Peronism from the leadership and will represent the students after achieving 41% and 40% respectively.

In addition, these sectors were able to retain the centers they ran before the pandemic, such as economics, veterinary medicine, agriculture and forestry sciences, architecture, and astronomical sciences, while the Ministry of the Interior (independent dental movement) retained the student again as a dental center.

For its part, the youth of the Peronist University (JUP) won faculties the press Based on Artss I also keep medicineBut he failed to win Humanitieswhich was left in the hands of La Mella-Patria Grande.

In this way, the “purple” groups have grown as the most voted and most representative sector of the UNLP, alienating the Kirchnerism and various expressions of the left that has maintained the leadership of the Federation of Universities of La Plata (FULP) since 2021, at a conference questioned by several organizations crucial to that armed group. The Violet Bar was, at the time, only seven of the seventeen faculties of the UNLP.

The intriguing thing about the last election round in Plantation is that the president himself Alberto Fernandez He approached to support the militancy of the Young Peronist University (JUP), which was divided into separate lists with La Cámpora. The rupture of groups linked to Everyone’s Front, another symptom of the national crisis, was noted in several colleges. The differences have already receded from the last FULP conference.

In the interior of the country, there were also movements in student voting. On April 7, the 12 faculties of the National University of Rosario elected the authorities again, with the radicalism associated with the university’s dean Franco Bartolacci the big winner. The Purple Strip even reclaimed the University of Rosario Federation (FUR), the student union body, after a decade without achieving the lead.. Mayor of Rosario Paul JafkinBartolacci’s ally, celebrate this victory.

The FUR scheme was distributed as follows: Six student centers remained in the hands of the reformers, two in the hands of socialism, two in the hands of the left-wing group ALDE and two in the hands of independent groups. The most resounding victory was that of Lou, where in 1983 the radical group replaced Peronism, which in 2019 had managed to impose itself on socialism years ago.

And so, at the United Nations, The left lost two student centres, one of them to socialism and Peronism the only one it had.

The last election of Federation of Cordoba Universities (FUC), representing about 140,000 students, took place at the end of 2021, with legislative elections when they were still dormant and progress was made with the relaxation of protocols due to COVID-19. At that electoral juncture, the “purple ribbon” consolidated its supremacy and retained the presidency of the trade union body in alliance with the national reform movement.

And in the Mediterranean region, there has also been a decline in groups related to the Front de Todos. The Kirchneria, representing the La Bisagra group, lost four of the seven student centers it led, and was overtaken not only by Franga Morada, but also by Jovenes por la Universidad, a kind of Peronist “schiarettista” allied to and independent Libres del South. The radical at the National University of Córdoba restored the faculties of architecture and chemistry.

“The balance is positive because our groups at UBA, UN and La Plata have done so well. There hasn’t been an election in three years because of the pandemic, and I think now the paradigm that young people are the ‘left hand’ has been broken.. The position of the youth in Argentina has been clear, we have a great responsibility,” Ramiro Sarraf said.

For Kaplan, on the other hand, he notes that context and convincing students to vote for the options on the left “isn’t that hard.” But they acknowledge a setback in youth political participation. “I think when students listen to us, they believe and bet on our proposals. The problem, however, is that they are interested in politics in general, especially with the big campaigns against student militancy and anti-politics,” he concluded.

The political game in FUA

With the most important university elections, the calculation of the figures of the Federation of Argentine Universities (FUA) begins, which brings together student centers in all the universities of the country, and where the reformist front retains leadership through its president, Edward Weberwhich also integrates the deliberative board of Tandil.

Constance Busio, the Secretary-General of FUA and a member of the JUP, noted the relative growth of extremism in recent student elections in both UBA and UNLP because, in general, they “do a good or very good job” at these academic institutions. According to the Peronist-allied student leader, greater electoral support would not change the number of delegates to the student conference that the authorities would renew.

“We are very calm. As an organization, we have grown a lot and we have brought together other organizations that were not in our space. We have combined sectors from the National Technological University (UTN), new universities that are not represented and that reformers have not even submitted lists,” Bossio explained.

In the recent West American Union elections, about 960 delegates voted, of which 310 delegates to the purple sector. This floor was enough to win. Subsequently, the JUP registered 265 deputies, while the “Nueva Reforma” space, made up of the popular left close to Juan Grabois and La Cámpora, garnered 240 votes.

According to Sarraf, with elections in La Plata and Rosario, reformism is “excessive” to maintain control of the American West Union. However, they from JUP are skeptical because they have “very advanced talks with various sectors and we are working to reach an agreement with La Cámpora.”

If that happens, there is no possibility that the reformatory can retain the Water Users Guild‘, guesses Constanza Bossio.

Read on:

Elections at UBA: La Cámpora loses student center and reformism takes root in colleges}

Violent fighting in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters after the elections: the study stopped

Leave a Comment