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Entries for September 2009

"I have no Volkswagen"

"I have no Volkswagen"

“My last name sounds like the name of a hill near Vaals? Oh, that’s funny. I’ve lived my whole life in Aachen, but I’ve never heard of Camerig”, says Steffi Kammerich, a second-year student of International Business. She has a difficult name, not common in Germany. “They always mishear it: Kammerlig? Kamerling? Maybe I should get married and just t...

"Spammers always find a way"

Of the two Million emails that are sent to a Maastricht University address on a daily basis, about 90% will never make it to their destination - they are spam. Millions of Euros are spent every year to deal with spam emails, and Yahoo! recently introduced their newest idea: Centmail, a virtual stamp which is the only way that an email to a Centmail...

International Comedy Night

Get ready for a night full of variation and surprising jokes. At the International Comedy Night on Wednesday 30 September, various comedy talents from the UK will perform for you at the Kumulus theatre, Herbenusstraat 89. The evening is organised by Studium Generale. For the amount of €6 for students (€10 for others) several stand-up comedians will...

On the menu: pierogi and golabki

On the menu: pierogi and golabki

Pierogi and golabki. If you are from Poland, you know immediately what we are talking about; for others it could probably mean anything. The menu in Grand Café Monastero on the Kommel included these two typically Polish dishes last Friday. All Polish students at Maastricht University were invited for dinner. About fifty of them came. The organisers...

Timeless and dated at the same time

“There's no better way of rejecting where you came from, no plainer declaration of an intention to reinvent yourself, than moving to New York; I speak from personal experience.” When Jonathan Franzen wrote these lines, in 1995, he had moved to (and from) New York six times already. Yet he never quite rejected the American Midwest he was born and ra...

Airport collection service

Over the past few weeks, student assistants from Maastricht University have collected a total of 135 new master's students from Amsterdam (Schiphol) and Brussels (Zaventem) airports. These new students came from countries such as China, Bulgaria and Georgia. The Maastricht students helped them get train tickets, handed out a description of the trai...

New accommodation for master's students

Since the beginning of this year, Maastricht University has 91 completely furnished rooms available for non-European master's students. The majority of these rooms are located in a recently completed building on the Reinier Nafzgerstraat, at the foot of the Kennedy Bridge. Almost all rooms – even the last ones that are still awaiting delivery – hav...

Heart or mind

No crimes, murders or slaughter, yet In Lucia’s eyes is a gripping and thrilling book as if it were a thriller. The well-known Dutch writer Arthur Japin, inspired by the memoirs of Casanova, wanted to throw light upon his first love Lucia, and tell her side of the story. The first time I read this book, with the original title Een schitterend gebr...

“In class you must have an opinion”

“In class you must have an opinion”

Maastricht University has presented four scholarships to students of two Chinese universities, both located in the area of Sichuan that was struck by an earthquake in 2008. This is the first year in which scholarships specially for Chinese students have been awarded.

Photography exhibition ‘Gimme Shelter’

An abstract ‘virtual relief’ of squares and cubicles, a group of skinheads entering the subway and an old man living in a car. There is a lot of diversity in the photographic works by the ten finalists for the Bouw in Beeld Prijs (‘construction in image’ award). The theme ‘Gimme Shelter’ leaves open many avenues of interpretation. The winning photo...

“Don’t expect instant results”

Last Wednesday was National Sustainability Day. For the occasion, Maastricht University organised a programme with presentations and discussions revolving around the question ‘How green are you?’ Sadly, not many students and employees seemed to care. In the audience at the Randwyck cafeteria were mainly those who are already active in making UM mor...
"Gerard Mols? Can I have more hints?"

"Gerard Mols? Can I have more hints?"

Spreek je Nederlands? Paul Gebhardt, a German master’s student of Financial Economics, laughs. “Ja, een beetje.” He did a Dutch course in the first year of his bachelor’s programme, he says – a little uncertainly – in Dutch. And last summer he picked it up again. “I had a job interview in Amsterdam and thought it would be good if I could speak Dutc...

UM on Hotmail blacklist

Maastricht University found itself on the Hotmail blacklist at the beginning of this week. This was the reason why employees and students could not send messages to Hotmail addresses. The problem has since then been solved. What was the matter? A female employee, responding to a phishing e-mail, provided her password and user ID to cybercriminals....

“I am not an extremist. I never meant it as a threat”

“I am not an extremist. I never meant it as a threat”

In May, the law faculty's student association Ouranos organised a debate about the limits of free speech and the role that the PVV leader Geert Wilders had in that. The poster that was used by Ouranos to announce the event was found to be offensive by a young Muslim student. The poster showed the well-known Danish cartoon of a bearded Muslim head w...

Comment on column Wim Groot

I would like to comment on the column written by Wim Groot in the latest issue of Observant. Non-Dutch speakers were denied the opportunity to enjoy his reminiscences about a Masters opening ceremony in Kiev and his subsequent philosophizing on the study fees paid by Dutch (and EEA) students. To summarize: Students are spoiled, paying roughly ...

Dear Dr. Ritzen,

As a student at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration for more than four years, I have come to love and cherish the university, the city and the people of Maastricht. But there have been some developments over the past year which have put a crack in my positive experience. I decided to write this letter not because I want to criticis...

MUSL problems still not solved

Education programmes are in full swing at all faculties this week. Even at University College,which postponed the start of the academic year by a week because of problems with the timetable. They decided to use their former scheduling programme again. “Things are running perfectly, just like before. No weird things, no long queues,” says managing d...

"I love Monday mornings in Maastricht"

"I love Monday mornings in Maastricht"

Jessica Bucher, a German first-year student of European Studies, loves Monday mornings in Maastricht. The shops are still closed, the streets are quiet, “everything is so relaxed”. What a different start to the week compared to her hometown, Munich, where at 8am all the shops have opened their doors and traffic rules the streets. Talked to a Dutch...

“It’s no use, they’ll compensate it afterwards”

While the number of overweight people is growing dramatically and the Dutch parliament came to no conclusion at all in its obesity debate last week, this might be the solution: oblige all Dutch university students to take part in a three-hour physical activity class per week. Problem solved. Or not?    

Clever dialogue and great humour

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you know that Hugh Laurie is currently extremely successful on the telly. So successful, in fact, that random American kids have started posting old clips of his, carelessly titled Dr. House doing this and that or the like, on the internet. You, my sophisticated readers with a lit...

Timetable troubles on Facebook

More than sixty Maastricht students – mostly from the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences – have used Facebook to give vent to their frustrations about the ‘timetable and registration disaster’. This disaster was caused by the introduction of the new automation system MUSL. On the social network site, students have formed a group under the nam...

Six films by the School of Governance

Addicted to Plastic. That is the first of six films that the Maastricht School of Governance will show in cooperation with the arthouse theatre Lumière. All the films, which will be introduced by a speaker, circle around themes that play a role in the school’s education programme, such as sustainable development, globalisation and social policy. Ad...

Heritage Days

If you haven’t done any sightseeing yet, this is your chance. On the Heritage Days (Open Monumentendag) on 12 and 13 September, historical buildings and sites around Maastricht will be open to the public free of charge. Many locations will also organise activities like exhibitions, music and guided tours. In Maastricht, twelve locations are partici...

Student unions grow

The Inkom was a success for the student unions. Tragos, Circumflex, Koko and Saurus all have more new members than last year, including international members. For the moment, Cicrumflex is the frontrunner with 207 new students, though some may drop out after the introductions. Meanwhile, Koko welcomed 203 newcomers, Tragos recruited 184 novices and...

Favourite Dutch product: bitterballen

Favourite Dutch product: bitterballen

Her favourite Dutch product is the bitterbal, and the best thing about the Netherlands is its railway network. “It actually works on time and brought me to an open day in Maastricht.” With a broad smile Claudia Wohlsperger, a second-year German student of Arts and Culture, welcomes the question: Talked to a Dutch student lately? “Yes”, she says tri...

“This is better than the chaos at the law faculty”

Next Monday, a week later than planned, University College Maastricht will start its study programme. “I'd rather start a little later than end up in a chaos like the one at the law faculty”, says a student.
A new leader seeks transparancy

A new leader seeks transparancy

It’s a recurring ritual which marks the opening of the new academic year: professors march from the Minderbroedersberg to the Theater aan het Vrijthof, where the ceremony takes place. Last Monday, students joined this cortège for the first time. But not everyone who was invited actually showed up. Student association Circumflex refused to join beca...

“Will heads roll? That is not the issue here”

University College postponed the start of its study programme by a week. The Faculty of Law did not, but it was chaos there at the beginning of this week. At least 250 concerned students showed up for the special timetable consultation on Tuesday morning. All because of the new automation software system MUSL.

MUSL: How were things at individual faculties?

UCM postponed its education programme when it became clear last Friday that parts of blocks had disappeared from the schedule. At the Faculty of Law they did not take the same decision, but hundreds of students reported there on Monday and Tuesday when they could not find their way to their tutorial groups. Things ran more smoothly elsewhere. “No p...