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“Have you already got your door back?”

“Have you already got your door back?”

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes

Professor Mariëlle Heijltjes shares a meal with independent fraternity Lucifer

Mariëlle Heijltjes is being treated this evening to a full three-course meal: baguette with avocado tapenade and salmon to start, pasta with shrimps for the main and Swedish coconut balls to finish. “Did you come up with all that yourself?” she asks Caspar Naus as he gives a rundown of the menu. “No,” he replies, “I’m just following instructions.” The mastermind is sick in bed with food poisoning. “That inspires confidence”, Heijltjes laughs. The other students swear it has nothing to do with his culinary skills: the culprit was a packet of steak tartare past its use-by date.

As Naus puts the baguette in the oven, Heijltjes – who is familiar with Lucifer from her own student days in Maastricht – asks what sets it apart from other associations. “What do you have in common?” Initially the students get no further than “we’re relaxed guys who like a good party”. But later in the evening, the stories start to come out – for example, about how the bedroom doors of newbies in the house are confiscated. “You’re joking”, Heijltjes says. “No, that’s the first thing we do. You earn the door back by having a girl over for the night”, Luuk Bogaarts replies. “Does it have to be a girl? And do the rest of you guys get to witness it?” Laughter. “We don’t sit here waiting with candles. As for bringing a guy home, that’s never happened, but I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it”, says Timon Vercoulen.

Every year, “but specifically not around Carnival or Easter”, the house holds rabbit parties, where members are required to go out in rabbit suits. Then there are the meetings of the Domus Disputatoris Lucifuga (as the house is officially known), at which a variety of ‘committees’ present their ideas for the new year – “The garden committee traditionally proposes a Jacuzzi” – and individual members are scolded by letter. “One guy had broken his leg and rented a wheelchair. But he kept forgetting to take it back and it was blocking the hallway”, explains Bogaarts. “So he received a letter from the perspective of the wheelchair; that it was thinking of rolling itself down the stairs because it was just sitting there all alone and forgotten.”

Naus begins preparing the main course, delegating tasks to Vercoulen and Bogaarts. “You do that well, putting the others to work”, Heijltjes says, amused. “All right, no dessert for you”, he replies with mock indignation. Meanwhile, one of the other residents – there are ten in total – who has just come home pops into the kitchen to introduce himself. “And have you already got your door back?” Heijltjes asks, much to the amusement of the others. He turns out to be the only remaining doorless housemate.

During the main the discussion turns to travel, a fixture of Heijltjes’s working life. “No one at UM has as nice a job as me. Last year I went to every continent, except Antarctica.” “How often after you away?” Vercoulen asks. “At least one week per month. Soon I’ll be joining Willem-Alexander and Maxima’s trade mission to Australia. Have you all spent time abroad?” “I spent last summer in Vietnam setting up a company for my dad. That was really cool”, Naus says. “Have you managed to recover yet?” Vercoulen asks. Turning to Heijltjes: “We were constantly getting photos from him at the bar.” Naus: “Hey, you have to integrate in the culture. No, it was very relaxed, I only had to work 20 hours per week.” Bogaarts did a five-month internship in China. “At one point we went on an excursion to the countryside and a whole busload of Chinese people started taking photos of me. My colleagues had to shield me so I could get in the restaurant.” Vercoulen hasn’t been quite as far afield: “It doesn’t appeal all that much to me.”

The coconut balls are served and Naus makes Nespresso for the coffee lovers. After a while, Heijltjes offers to do the dishes. “In my house the person who cooks doesn’t wash up.” It turns out the students recently acquired a dishwasher. “We had no idea glasses could be so clean”, Vercoulen says. There is little cleaning to do in any event; for the last 12 years Lucifer’s members have been pitching in for a cleaner. “What a luxurious house”, Heijltjes exclaims. The only things the students have to clean for themselves are their own rooms. The level of cleanliness varies, but Naus and Bogaarts like to keep things tidy. Heijltjes: “And you cook too … I’m going to send my eldest son round to you guys. But no boozing!”

Mariëlle Heijltjes * 48 * professor of Managerial Behaviour * married, two children * lives in Maastricht

Caspar Naus * 21 * fourth-year Fiscal Economics * member of Lucifer

Timon Vercoulen * 22 * third-year Medicine * member of Lucifer

Luuk Bogaarts * 23 * fourth-year International Business at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences * member of Lucifer

Scores (maximum of five stars), given by Professor Heijltjes

Quality of food: 5 stars (“It was delicious, I was really impressed”)

Cleanliness: 5 stars

Hospitality: 5 stars (“I was glad someone asked about my earring. I was thinking, do I have to come up with yet another question?”) 

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