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Curfew is “heavy blow” for students

Curfew is “heavy blow” for students

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Aphiwat chuangchoem via Pexels

Chairpersons of KoKo, Circumflex and Saurus on the curfew

A curfew has been introduced, starting this weekend. Between nine o’ clock in the evening and half past four in the morning nobody – with a few exceptions – is allowed outside. This won’t make much difference to club life, say the chairpersons of the Maastricht student associations. For student life in general, they feel that this is a completely different matter.

“Since the lockdown that started in December, the association has been closed to members,” says Maaike Hooghiemstra, chairperson of KoKo. “Even the committees have been meeting via Zoom for some time now. So, the curfew won’t make a difference for our association.” The curfew has no effect for the Saurus rowing boats, says chairman Karel van Melle. “Rowing is only allowed between sunrise and sunset, so between 21:00 and 4:30 hrs nobody is on the water.” The clubhouse is closed, “because indoor sports are prohibited”. The equipment committee is working on the boats occasionally, though. Van Melle is one of the few members who will be affected by the curfew, he says. He often works in the board room until late into the evening. “I will have to shift things around.”

Activities for members are all online. KoKo, for example, held a croon festival last Monday. Hooghiemstra: “Members could send in clips of themselves singing along. There were very creative contributions, it was great fun.” There is also a variety of digital events for the rowers. “A pub quiz, an escape room, just some of the standard things,” says Van Melle. “The committees that don’t have much to do at the moment take turns to organise an activity.”

At Circumflex, they cook for the members once every two weeks, says chairperson Tanne Nevels. “The meals can be collected at a fixed time from the entrance of the club.” Things that are on the menu? “Next week we have a chips dish with sweet potato.” Then there is a house Olympics on 2 February: “A competition in which members compete against each other by means of assignments inside the home. These times are challenging for creativity.”

InMosae, the anniversary of Circumflex’s clubhouse De Kaap in February, will also be online this year, says Nevels. Normally, this would be a big festivity: three days of partying in a fully decked-out De Kaap. This year the programme will include a “silent disco” with beer packages, among other things.

The chairpersons are worried about the consequences of the curfew for their members. “Having a bite to eat together, or a drink and a chat. That social contact is extremely important,” says Hooghiemstra. Van Melle: “Student life is already very limited. To combat the virus, this is a logical move, but for students this is a huge step. Now even evenings are no longer a time for fun.” He calls it a “heavy blow. People need social contact.” Nevels shares those concerns: “Some members live alone in studios. I hope more will be allowed soon.”

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