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Jaargang 44, 31 januari 2002

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ISN is strictly for fun
TU/e's International Student Network Eindhoven (ISN) is more popular than ever under the new leadership of architecture students Rico Koolen and Robert Tomohamat. Any activity they organise seems to fill up almost immediately. Weekly gatherings at Paddy's Pub are popular, making Paddy's one of the few full bars in Eindhoven on a Tuesday night. And ISN group dinners on the second Tuesday of the month, in various inexpensive restaurants, always attract newcomers and therefore new members.

Koolen and Tomohamat took over in the new academic year when long-time ISN president Mark Bax left for a placement abroad and the final phase of his degree in Physics. With one semester of experience as ISN 'organisers' under their belts, Rico and Robert's enthusiasm for the job has only increased. Although they say they could use some help, a problem many student associations are currently facing.
"We're a very relaxed organisation. There are no obligations. ISN is strictly for fun," says Rico Koolen. ISN's goal has always been to create opportunities for foreign and Dutch students in Eindhoven to meet in an informal setting. The association attracts people from TU/e, Fontys and local companies who employ foreign trainees.

Although Tomohamat is officially still studying architecture at TU/e, most of his attention is taken up by his computer science course at Fontys. Both Koolen and Tomohamat are older students (due to a number of circumstances) looking to broaden their horizons and their circle of friends. "We'll both be finishing our degrees within a year or two," says Tomohamat. "I'm working at it, but studying from dawn till dusk can get boring. Also, I'm interested in going abroad after I graduate, so I talk to as many people as I can about their countries." He hopes direct information from other students can help him make a more informed choice on what to do after graduation.
ISN started out under another name as a welcome committee to Eindhoven. Since then ambitions have grown. ISN is building a database of Dutch students who would like to help newcomers settle in and generally act the part of a 'buddy'. As yet, foreign students seem to be a bit uneasy with this idea, probably because the Dutch helpers are called 'mentors'. But Rico and Robert are confident the idea of a Dutch buddy for every foreign student could work well for all concerned.

The association is reaching more Dutch students who want to study or work abroad, say Koolen and Tomohamat. ISN is working on becoming part of the larger international Erasmus student network, hoping to be able to offer more information on studying abroad in the future.
ISN organises six to eight excursions a year. A recent trip to Luxemburg, travelling and staying at youth hostels, was unanimously declared a great success. Other destinations are the Delta dams in Zeeland, mediaeval cities in Belgium like Bruges or Ghent, and of course Amsterdam. A 'dropping' is being planned for
sometime in February, before the evenings start to get lighter. On a more local level, paint ball and bowling are popular.
Visiting one of the weekly informal meetings at Paddy's, I'm introduced to some of the 'usual suspects', from Greece, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, Finland.
I find that my idea of people from Finland being shy is blatantly untrue, and that a student from Singapore is quite comfortable having a beer in a rowdy Irish pub in Eindhoven. An Indian Ph.D. student and long-time ISN member of my acquaintance is brooding on where to eat this month, and we discuss relative merits of 'eetcafés' in Eindhoven.
ISN seems to have only one problem: a persistent lack of women in the membership. Rico has a declared weakness for Italian girls, but there are currently none around. But the girls from Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands are having fun on this particular Tuesday night./.
For more information about ISN: www.tue.nl/isn.

Rico Koolen (left) and Robert Tomohamat. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

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Executive Board stops spending
This week the Executive Board has asked departments and services to stop spending for the time being. "It will take some time for us to obtain the financial information we need. We've asked everyone to take a deep breath and try to adopt an exceptionally prudent policy," said chairman of the Board dr.ir. Henk de Wilt, at the University Council meeting on Monday.

A letter on the subject went out to all TU/e departments and services this week. A steering group led by prof.dr. Hans Amman is currently looking at the university's financial situation and is working on the annual report for 2001 and the budget for 2002.
There should be more information about TU/e's finances in 2001 and 2002 by April 1. Until then the Executive Board has asked that no new financial obligations be undertaken unless absolutely necessary. "Investments and staff appointments should be postponed until the university's financial situation is clearer," the Board writes in the letter. This does not mean that it is now impossible to appoint new personnel. In cases where there are any doubts, a decision will be made by the head of Personnel and Organisation./.

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TU/e-er guest at royal wedding
"I was just curious to see how this kind of ceremony would work," explains John Snoeijs, from TU/e's department of Electrical Engineering's Internal Affairs office and now a guest at the royal wedding this weekend. Last year he sent off a request to the Dutch Government Information Service RVD asking to be allowed to attend prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta's wedding. To his surprise, the request was granted in December, after an initial refusal.

This Saturday Snoeijs will be present at the Beurs van Berlage (stock exchange building) in Amsterdam at a quarter to ten for the civil part of this much publicised wedding. No, he is not really such a fan of the monarchy. John Snoeijs is just interested in being a part of a unique event of this kind. His name was placed on the guest list after a kind of internal lottery.

Snoeijs and his girlfriend Carla Buenen are expected in Amsterdam on Saturday at eight thirty. After a number of security
measures are taken, the whole group of eight hundred guests will be taken to the Beurs van Berlage by bus for the civil ceremony, to be conducted by the mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen.
"Carla and I will probably be quite near the front. We're seated directly behind personal friends and acquaintances," says Snoeijs. Snoeijs's girlfriend was initially thinking of buying a hat, which might possibly be obligatory for female guests. After some inquiries, they found out that this is not seen as strictly necessary. "The kind of hat she would need could easily set us back 350 to 400 euro," says Snoeijs. "That's quite an expensive for a hat you would only be able to wear once." Gentlemen are only expected to wear a dark suit. Snoeijs is not sure if he will accessorise with something orange (for the Dutch royal house of Orange)./.

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Student candidates for town council
Mark Beks (Applied Physics student) is the fourteenth candidate on the election list for the Socialistische Partij (socialist party) in Eindhoven. Paul Lempens (library staff member) heads the list for the Socialistische Partij in the town of Weert. Rob Augusteijn (Industrial Engineering and Management Science student) is the fifteenth candidate on the list for the CDA (Christen Democratisch Appèl).
The new student party in Eindhoven taking part in the municipal elections is registered under list 11. In the coming elections on March 6, sixteen TU/e students and one staff member will stand for a seat on the town council. Apart from the eleven students on list 11, three more students will stand for the Partij van de Arbeid (labour party). They are: Martijn van Dam (Industrial Engineering and Management Science student and head candidate), Peter Spijker (Biomedical Technology) and Igor Aarts (Applied Physics).
Foreigners in the Netherlands are eligible to vote in the municipal elections in the place they live after five years of legal residency. National elections are only for Dutch nationals.

Letters for Amnesty
TU/e's Amnesty International group is planning a letter writing lunch for Tuesday February 5. This will take place in the Technology Management department's lunchroom from 12.30 to 1.30 p.m. Anyone who wants to take part is welcome.

D-Night Totelos
Student indoor football club Totelos is holding its annual pre-carnival indoor soccer tournament on the night of February 7. This will take place in the Student Sports Centre from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on February 8. Teams should be made up of at least six members. The entry fee will be 35 euro. More information at www.totelos.nl. Register with the Sports Centre doorman if you plan to participate.


The English Page is written by Paula van de Riet.

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