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Entries for June 2010

Running against the system

He died on 25 April at the age of 82. And yet, Alan Sillitoe was still regarded as the Angry (Young) Man who wrote the novella The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959). The first time I read this well-known story was in high school. And I have to admit: it was obligatory. I didn’t remember a lot of it. Except for the title, which I still r...

Business competition

Last year, only 25 women applied for the female business plan competition, organised by the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E) in cooperation with the city of Maastricht. This is remarkable, says Veroniek Collewaert, assistant professor at the MC4E, given the number of well-educated female students, employees and alumni in the region. Th...

Change clothes

Change clothes

Whether Alex Eichner and Daniel Maciejewski will go home with the clothes they are wearing in the photo is the question. There’s a big chance they won’t. “I hope someone else is interested in my leather pants”, Eichner laughs. Last Tuesday, a Clothes Exchange Party was held in the student café Make! in d’n Hiemel, near the park. “We’ve already had ...

35 thousand euros for ten student entrepreneurs

35 thousand euros for ten student entrepreneurs

A festival kit with a sleeping bag and a toothbrush, a day programme for the handicapped, video CVs, text message marketing, and a sensor sticker in incontinence products. This is a selection of services and products from enterprising students who were awarded for their efforts. Limburg Development and Investment Company LIOF celebrates its 35th an...

Coup Maastricht

This year, for the 16th time, Zuyd University’s Department of Arts presents the Coup Maastricht: a festival at which fresh alumni from the Conservatory and the Academies for Fine Arts, Dramatic Art and Architecture will put their thesis subjects on display. Since all kinds of exhibitions and performances will be at lots of different places around ...

“He lacks contact with the average employee”

Jo Ritzen, President of the Executive Board, hasn’t give any explanation yet, but fact is that he will leave Maastricht University in February. He doesn’t aspire a third term as President. What were his strengths and weaknesses?

“He is too cool for school”

He did not even know that students were voting for the best lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Nevertheless, Dr. Nico Baakman won the award last Thursday during the faculty education afternoon.  “He is too cool for school,” said one of the students, who felt that Baakman was entitled to the challenge cup, the certificate, a ...

"Learn Dutch!"

"Learn Dutch!"

The 36 German students interviewed for the series Grüsse aus Holland have more in common than their nationality: they were strikingly polite and friendly and all are taking their studies seriously. Here, Observant draws up the balance. The main question in every interview was: Do you feel integrated? Most of the interviewees said they did feel mor...

Dancetour Maastricht 2010

The Markt in Maastricht will transform into one big dance floor on Sunday 20 June. From 14.30–15.00 the winner of the DJ Knock Out, DJ Dee-on, will get you moving with his house beats. Later that day, famous DJs like Don Diablo and Marco V will take the stage. The Dutch Don Diablo, born Don Pepijn Schipper, got his breakthrough in 2008 when his alb...

Observant on Facebook

Observant is now also on Facebook. On our page, you can find the latest news, updates from the editors and links, photos and short films. You can also respond to articles or start a discussion. If you’re interested in becoming a member, please visit www.facebook.com/ObservantUM CF

“Wilders creates a hostile environment for Muslims”

PVV, the ‘Freedom Party’ of Geert Wilders, emerged as the third force in Dutch politics last week. Wilders wants to be a part of the government. But what if? Wilders’s party is controversial. His film Fitna, about Islam in the Netherlands, received international attention. And some time ago he dismissed Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan as a “total f...

Campus UM in Brussels

Maastricht University’s ‘campus’ in Brussels was officially opened last week. The listed historic building is situated on the Legerlaan between the two central metro stations Merode and Montgomery. The building is primarily used for postgraduate courses. “We focus on mid-career education,”, Vivianne Heijnen, head of the campus. “Many civil servants...

Football at the UM

The match between Denmark and the Netherlands last Monday was watched in various places at Maastricht University. Some employees had to officially apply for leave.
An orange T-shirt and 'lion hat'

An orange T-shirt and 'lion hat'

Markus Tozman – a second-year German student from Berlin and the founding father of student gymnastics club Saturnus - is wearing an orange T-shirt with a print of the Dutch flag and the word oranje on it. He also possesses an orange ‘lion hat’, some orange make-up and other orange party stuff. Why aren’t you wearing the German black and white shi...

Dream final from 1974

Dream final from 1974

“Nederland-Denemarken, live at the mensa”, reads a note at the entrance to the mensa at the Tongersestraat. It’s Monday afternoon, 13.45. Around 90 to 100 students and staff members are watching the big screen in the dining room. No yelling, no singing and no vuvuzelas. It’s so quiet that Nick Mulder, a second-year student of Economics, can still s...

No one to talk to on a plane

If you’ve been following the media closely over the last few days, you might have – among all the news about Dutch elections, Belgian elections and of course the World Cup – read that there is civil unrest in Kyrgysistan. News from this distant part of the globe hardly ever comes to our attention. Who can, honestly, locate on a map or even distingu...

Journalists are storytellers, no more and no less

Two years ago the US presidential elections were in full swing. The primaries finally over and election day fewer than six months away, Obama and McCain were the last men standing and news correspondents from around the world descended upon America to cover that fascinating race with that unlikely – given his African American background – contender...

Upcoming events student societies

If you want to integrate more into Dutch student life, you might want to visit one of these upcoming events, hosted by the four biggest student associations.   On Saturday 12 June, rowers from all over the Netherlands will come to Maastricht to battle it out at the Fortis Maas Regatta, organised by rowing club Saurus. Boats with four men and...

“We are not going to force anyone, it would spoil the atmosphere”

“We are not going to force anyone, it would spoil the atmosphere”

They are allegedly a group of boozing students, who do the most terrible things to each other under group pressure, and who find hanging around in the pub more important than studying. Student societies do not have a good reputation among foreign students – and especially among the Germans. Is this justified? Observant asked the chairmen of the fou...

Expat Guide for Maastricht region

A typical Dutch birthday tradition: the celebrant treats colleagues to pie, cakes or vlaai. This is just one of the many tips that can be found in the first Expat Guide for the Maastricht region, which was presented last Sunday. The guide was compiled by the Regiobranding Zuid-Limburg Foundation, to show expats their way around this region. In the...

PhD defence for three Italians

Until Wednesday 2 June, it had never occurred in the history of Maastricht University: a PhD defence for three researchers at the same time. Let alone all of them being Italian. And all three did their research on the relationship between nutrition and cardiovascular diseases. Augusto Di Castelnuovo found that the expectation of death resulting fro...

Fright and friendship

Much hyped in the United States at the moment is the writer Philipp Meyer (1974). He has already been compared with Steinbeck and Kerouac thanks to his choice of literary theme: the economic problems involved in rural labour. His tone has been linked with that of Salinger. And his first novel, American Rust (2009), has already been translated into ...

Fashionclash

Fashionclash was organised for the first time in 2009 by a couple of friends to encourage young and talented designers to show their work. At Fashionclash, all different kinds of fashion, including textiles, jewellery and photography, are exhibited or displayed on the catwalk. But it is the ‘clash’ between designers from different countries with d...

“The Eurovision’s level is generally low”

Fourteenth place in the semi-final. That’s as far as the Dutch contestant Sieneke got in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was won by German singer Lena. Critics claimed that Sieneke didn’t stand a chance against the modern English songs most countries presented. The Dutch entry was written by Pierre Kartner, who is known as Father Abraham and for...

Read the news on the loo

How can you nominate your favourite tutor for the Education Award 2010? You can find out by reading the first ‘loo paper’ (pleekrant, a newspaper put on the walls to read on the toilet), produced by the student representative body of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “We came up with the idea after having read about a similar initiative in ...

DOPE big winner

DOPE big winner

The turnout of the ‘minor’ university elections – only students and department councils –was lower than last year. DOPE, the student party that came out as the big winner with 23 seats, and NovUM (total 15 seats) blamed the low turnout on the voting problems during the first two days of the election week in the middle of May.
Spain will win the World Championship

Spain will win the World Championship

Matthias Schmidtblaicher, a first-year student of economics, saw (and heard) some of the performances of the Eurovision song contest last weekend. “It wasn’t voluntary, but I did see five performances, including Germany’s.” Are you proud your country won? “Actually, no. It’s a good question. I would be proud if the German football team was winnin...