MAASTRICHT. There will be a definite answer before Christmas about the building in which the international student club will be housed. There are three options. This is what the director of Student Services (SSC), Astrid Boeijen, declared on Wednesday 12 November in a meeting of the university committee. The three potential locations are the Timmerfabriek, the Augustinian church on the Kesselskade, and “a building near the Vrijthof”; Boeijen did not want to be any more specific than that. The Timmerfabriek has the UM’s preference. The building was supposed to be occupied in the first quarter of 2015; should renovations be necessary, a temporary solution will be offered for the period required.
The reason for such a club is that foreign students lack a permanent base, for which there is a definite need. Becoming a member of a Dutch student association remains an obstacle, if only because the language used is Dutch and hazing still occurs. There will be no hazing at this new club, and the language spoken will be English. Dutch students can also become members.
ESN, the Erasmus Student Network that organises a lot of activities for foreign students, will play an important role in this new setup. Boeijen said that the organisational structure of ESN will have to be adapted somewhat for that purpose, to be more in conformity with Dutch associations. SSC is considering a dedicated project leader to support ESN for some years.
For practical information, SSC and ESN are looking in particular at Tilburg, where a similar international student club has been running for quite some time.
Boeijen is not worried about interest. Even if only 10 per cent of the 7,500 foreigners join “it will still be the largest association in Maastricht”, she said.