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Rector brings ‘fragmented’ club life up for discussion
17 september 2009 - During an informal biennial meeting in Maastricht, whereby the TU/e Board crossed verbal swords with student committee members, Rector Magnificus Hans van Duijn raised the subject of the large number of student associations -as he thinks anyway- at TU/e. Van Duijn thinks that having 91 associations results in ‘fragmentation’ and in a great deal of time lost unnecessarily with committee work.
Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

During the so-called Mystery Tour, which took place on Thursday 10 September, student committee members from TU/e are informed by the Executive Board about the policy plans for the coming years, after which an open discussion ensues. This year Maastricht was the venue for this meeting and Van Duijn had formulated some ‘scintillating’ theses for a debate.

Thesis 3 in particular loosened the tongues: ‘An overkill of associations (91) has fragmented student life’. In the Rector’s opinion it should be a realistic option for associations to merge, so that many of the activities that are now carried out by committees separately could be done by one committee. This could benefit the laborious search for candidates for cimmittee work and enhance transparence in the flood of associations.

None of the student committee members advocated future mergers among associations. Reasons why no good was expected of such a move included the bond with a specific program, the existing busyness that this job entails, the individual nature of the associations and the difference in views with potential partners for mergers.

University secretary ir. Harry Roumen said afterwards that the thesis proposed can definitely not be regarded as a leg up to a measure that the Board would want to impose on the associations. Nor will there be any cut, Roumen emphasizes, in the amount of 600,000 euros that is now annually available for executive grants (HK)/.