Long wooden tables, fresh flowers, cosy seating areas and – for when the sun shines – attractive outdoor seating. Last Monday, the new Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences common room and coffee corner – Bandito Espresso – at Grote Gracht 86 opened its doors. As an opening stunt, all visitors are allowed to determine for themselves how much they want to pay for a (fair trade) cappuccino, an espresso or piece of pie this week. “Pay as you please,” the sign says.
The former common room (Grote Gracht 76) is going to serve as a silent study room, a request that was made by the student fraction of the faculty council. “The new common room will provide enough space for the relaxing part of student life inside the faculty. Nevertheless, the need for a genuine study area in our faculty remains,” the student fraction wrote in its proposal, discussed in the faculty council last week. The Faculty Board is positively inclined to the plan, according to director André Koehorst. “Tables will be added, the sofas will be removed. There are no great expenses involved.” It is a temporary allocation. “At the end of the academic year, we will see if we like the room and whether the room is not needed for something else, such as an office or classroom. We are suffering from a perpetual lack of space.”