New living room for students on Princetonplein

De Vagant was a popular meeting place in De Uithof for some time. Photo DUB

Until two years ago, De Vagant served as a temporary alternative to the canteen in the Minnaert building that was being renovated. Science and geosciences students quickly found their way to the wooden accommodation because of the highly acclaimed "beach club character". It was a place where students had lunch or played a game. Study associations held their drinks or barbecues on the lawn, in the evenings or weekends as well. The official caterer remained out of the picture; visitors just consumed their own consumptions.

When the permit for De Vagant expired, the Executive Board of the University promised to seriously work on a new meeting place with a permanent status that offered the same possibilities. After all, what happened in De Vagant was a good fit with the aim of increasing the liveliness in De Uithof and the community building among students. Only the precise location and the requirements that would be imposed on a new building were still under discussion.

Picnic benches
This week, it became clear that the new student living room will be on the Princetonplein. This square will be renovated in the coming years and will have an open and green character. The Earth Sciences building that stands on the square is being demolished. The construction of the 'new Vagant' is expected to start from the end of 2021.

It will be a separate building that can fit around 200 students. There will also be a terrace with picnic benches and a lawn for sports or relaxation. The new accommodation will be open on working days between 10:00. and 18:00. In the evening, the building can be booked until midnight.

The intention is that the elements that made De Vagant a success will be reflected in the new building. There must be a sustainable design as well. Although De Vagant is primarily intended to let students and staff relax, the university wants to prevent excessive drinking of beer being encouraged. The university rule that alcohol can only be consumed after five in the afternoon also applies here.

For all students
The most important new principle is probably that the accommodation is certainly not intended solely for science and geo students. Other students must be able to organise drinks and lectures or simply meet up with each other here as well.

For the time being, it is not intended that students will start running their new living room themselves. In the past, study associations offered to organise the management of a meeting place themselves several times. That idea is now discarded. Because employees also have to be able to organise activities at the new location, and because issues such as maintenance, cleaning and security require a lot, it has been decided to make the Facility Service Centre responsible for this.

Very happy
Chemistry student Ties Bakker and fellow student Angela Melcherts were involved in the new plans on behalf of the study associations of Geosciences and Science. He is very enthusiastic about the cooperation of the university. “What will be built resembles what we wanted quite well. We have been heard and we are very happy with that.”

Bakker finds it important that there will be a space where activities take place that bring the student community closer together. He also thinks there is a need - certainly after the announcement of the closure of the canteen of the Minnaert building - for a place where students and teachers can meet informally. "And thus not only in the lecture hall."

With the plans, according to him, there is a certainty that the new accommodation will have the "robust" appearance that characterised De Vagant. "It should be fine if some beer is spilled."