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Entries for June 2018

Student Radio Maastricht

Students talking about their bachelor thesis, travelling or culture in Maastricht - it can be found on Student Radio Maastricht, a podcast platform for interested students from Maastricht University & Zuyd Hogeschool to produce high-quality audio podcasts as easily as possible.
That one topic

That one topic

There’s this one topic I don’t like to talk about. Okay, there are more, but this particular topic seems so boring and unnecessary that I avoid talking about it whenever I can. Except for today. Today I want to talk about that one subject that drives me crazy: the weather. You know those people who constantly tell you, “Oh, loo...

Students blackmail, threaten and put pressure on lecturers

Students blackmail, threaten and put pressure on lecturers

MAASTRICHT. The misconduct by students at the School of Business and Economics hit a wrong chord with two lecturers: partly because of this, one has left and the other is considering to leave the faculty. It also appeared recently that SBE students complain in an organised fashion after an exam and go in search of questions that could lead to ...
Herbs from Limburg, forgotten vegetables and medieval potsherds

Herbs from Limburg, forgotten vegetables and medieval potsherds

MAASTRICHT. A colourful oasis in an endless plain of mud. That is how one could describe the Tapijn Garden, the way it stands out in the corner of the churned-up barracks grounds. The “city vegetable garden” itself looks very well cared for, except perhaps for the section where everything is growing together. “That looks like a me...

Psychology dean: BON foreman Verbrugge is a “Scary Man”

MAASTRICHT/THE NETHERLANDS. After years of columns and debates, the association 'Beter Onderwijs Nederland (BON, or Better Education Netherlands)' has filed a lawsuit to stop the advance of English in higher education: the association feels that no other study programmes should be allowed to be taught in English until more thought has been ...
“Okay, take off your pants first”

“Okay, take off your pants first”

Yuri Meesen (27), from Brunssum, is a junior journalist at Observant. He wrote the previous 18 instalments in our tattoo series. He has three tattoos himself, the most recent on his thigh. “My friends were shocked by the size of it.” Okay, take off your pants first. Good Lord. His right thigh is entirely covered. He got it on King&r...

“If I say I’m going to dinner with the Maastricht rector, they’ll let me off”

“If I say I’m going to dinner with the Maastricht rector, they’ll let me off”

MAASTRICHT. Tuesday evening. As the clock strikes six, the front door of the student house at Vrijthof 27 rattles. Two bright eyes peep through the mail slot into the corridor. It’s rector Rianne Letschert, pressing the doorbell in vain. In June last year, she joined the students for dinner for the Observant series Guess who...

Local man turns himself into Amsterdam police after Pinkpop fatal crash

THE NETHERLANDS. The 34-year-old driver of a van which ploughed into a group of people leaving the Pinkpop music festival in the early hours of Monday, killing one, has turned himself over to the police.

One dead, three injured after white van hits festival goers at Pinkpop

THE NETHERLANDS. One person has been killed and three seriously injured in an incident involving a van at the Pinkpop music festival in Landgraaf.
OPINION: Transgenerational diseases: are you to blame?

OPINION: Transgenerational diseases: are you to blame?

Epigenetics is the study of environmental effects, including lifestyle habits, on an organism’s underlying genomic material or DNA. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms, are modifications to the DNA that dictate whether a certain gene will be turned on or off, carrying its own consequences on health and development. Many diseases such as c...

Being Earnest (and Maybe Happy)

Being Earnest (and Maybe Happy)

“If you’re going to try, go all the way,” Bukowski once wrote. Do so even if it means you alienate yourself from loved ones, lose your mind, and end up in jail because going all the way is “the only good fight there is.” There is indeed a certain sense of idolization awarded to people who are capable of mustering su...

Former top volleyball player head of UM Sports

Former top volleyball player head of UM Sports

MAASTRICHT. He played as many as 347 times for the Dutch national volleyball team, including at the 2004 Olympic Games. At the moment he is putting the finishing touches to his thesis for the executive MBA Sports Management at the Maastricht School of Management. Nico Freriks (36) started as the new head of UM Sports last Monday.
“In Brighton, yellow mohawks, tattoos, piercings and brightly coloured clothing are the rule rather than the exception”

“In Brighton, yellow mohawks, tattoos, piercings and brightly coloured clothing are the rule rather than the exception”

Last autumn Esmee Halmans (21), a third-year student at University College Maastricht, traded in the familiar Maastricht for Brighton, England, where she went on exchange for a semester. To commemorate the experience, she got a tattoo of a wave on the inside of her left ankle. “Moving to Brighton was a big step for me. It was the first tim...

25 years of knowledge engineering: time to look ahead

25 years of knowledge engineering: time to look ahead

The Knowledge Engineering programme has wind in its sails. It is ranked as a ‘top programme’ in the Keuzegids (the Dutch guide to higher education), is increasingly called on by other faculties, and is benefiting from the current popularity of data science. Still, recruiting new staff remains difficult.
Sounds from the Central African Republic in a classroom in Heerlen

Sounds from the Central African Republic in a classroom in Heerlen

Bang! Playwright Daniel van den Broeke beats on an old-fashioned school desk with a  chicotte , a whip made from wood and several strands of rubber, used in schools in the Central African Republic (CAR). The three VWO4 pupils from Sintermeertencollege in Heerlen who are sitting at the desk jump with fright. With their classmates, they will be ...

The Netherlands must remain welcoming to migrant workers: employers

THE NETHERLANDS. People from central and eastern Europe filled almost 5% of Dutch jobs in 2016, according to new research carried out for the employment agency umbrella organisation ABU.

Police warn about use of replica weapons following string of incidents

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch police dealt with 350 incidents involving fake weapons in the first five months of this year, the AD said on Monday. This is a ‘slight rise’ compared with last year, according to a police press release.
A critical journalist retires

A critical journalist retires

Wammes Bos (1952, Dordrecht)/ senior editor at Observant since 1986/ married to editor-in-chief Riki Janssen; daughters Maaike and Geesje (twins, 41) from previous marriage, three grandchildren (Cato, Berend, Rick)/ lives in Haccourt, Belgium

WANTED: Critical students and employees

The editorial council of Observant is looking for UM employees and students who want to join the council for a minimum of 1 to 2 years.
Can I talk?

Can I talk?

Can a man voice his opinion on the #MeToo movement? How if he could never have experienced the specific sexism that women face daily? And can a person, ethnically belonging to a majority, use cultural items of a minority? Would this not mock the decades of forced assimilationist policies and degradation of this minority culture put forward by major...

Myth: physical proximity is crucial for a family

Myth: physical proximity is crucial for a family

Dutch migration laws in the nineteen-eighties included a rule that family members should not be separated for longer than two years. After such a period, the family connection was broken and migrants lost the right to family reunification. “This undoubtedly played a role in the reduction of the number of residence permits in those days,&rdquo...

Five Vidi grants for Maastricht

Five Vidi grants for Maastricht

MAASTRICHT. It doesn't happen very often, but the majority of the five Vidi subsidies from research financer NWO will go to the city centre: two to the School of Business and Economics (Annelies Renders, Caroline Goukens) and one to Arts and Social Sciences (Tamar Sharon). Two will go to the other side of the Maas, to the Faculty of Health, Med...

Commuting by car if you live close by? Higher parking rates

Commuting by car if you live close by? Higher parking rates

MAASTRICHT. The UM is going to introduce paid parking for UM parking spaces, albeit differently than outlined in the plan presented in January. The new proposal will abolish the 15-kilometre limit, so everyone can come by car. Only, the closer by you live the higher the rate you pay.
“Just cut it out in the editing”

“Just cut it out in the editing”

MAASTRICHT. Two microphones and a recording device are set up in a corner of the Kruithuis at the School of Business and Economics on this warm Thursday afternoon. The recording of an episode of Maastricht Cultured is about to start. It’s one of the podcast series on the new Student Radio Maastricht platform.
“If I keep on moving, a second sleeve will be unavoidable”

“If I keep on moving, a second sleeve will be unavoidable”

Second-year psychology student Anne Friesacher (21) is Austrian, but she has never lived there. For every country she has lived in, she has a symbol on her sleeve: a tattoo that covers her entire left arm. “My father works for Shell, and our family moved all over the world. I’ve always gone to international schools. Constantly changi...

Citizenship to have key role in Dutch schools: ‘children are not born democratic’

THE NETHERLANDS. All Dutch schools are to be required by law to give lessons in ‘citizenship’ so that children learn the ‘basic values of the democratic rule of law’.

English at university is fine, says minister, as long as standards don’t suffer

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch higher education system can continue to offer more courses and degrees in English, as long as it leads to an improvement in standards and that Dutch students are not forced out, education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said on Monday.