A place for students to hang out

New Vagant opens its doors

de vagant
Photo: DUB

Starting this week, every day from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, De Vagant is the place to be for students in De Uithof who want to hang out with their classmates, drink coffee, or eat a sandwich.

Moreover, the new hangout spot has an activity room, which can be used by groups of students or student associations after closing time get-togethers, movie nights, game nights and the like. Students interested in organising this type of activity can request to reserve the space.

The building has a capacity of 200 students: 75 in the "living room" and 125 in "the hall". They can stay until 10:30 pm as the building closes at 11:00 pm. As per university rules, alcohol can be served from 5:00 pm on, but De Vagant doesn’t have a bar of its own.

Covid misery
With this space, the university aims to accommodate students’ desire to have nice and cosy meeting spots. The lack of such spaces in the Utrecht Science Park was an issue, especially after the pandemic, which made many students feel isolated and lonely. Now, thanks to the NPO funds the Dutch government has made available to alleviate some of the effects of the pandemic in higher education, UU decided it was time to bring De Vagant back.

Upon inaugurating the place last Friday, UU Vice-President Margot van der Starre expressed her satisfaction. “De Vagant will belong to students, for students, by students.”

Most students don't know it, but the combination of a red Scandinavian cabin and a beach tent is actually a replica of the former De Vagant, which used to be at that exact same spot (in front of the Kroningsberger building) until four years ago. The space had to be demolished to the chagrin of the Science and Geosciences students. UU graduates shall certainly remember the barbecues held in De Vagant's backyard fondly.

At the time of the demolition, the Executive Board promised to come up with an attractive alternative. Many different options have been considered these past few years, until there was a possibility of bringing De Vagant back temporarily.

The building inaugurated last Friday is going to exist for two to four years, during which the university is going to devise a permanent option, explained the director of Real Estate & Campus, Eddie Verzendaal in a recent interview with DUB.

Name plaque
Medicine student Merel Dekker, who served as the first student adviser to the Executive Board, was a crucial in bringing the space back, which is why there is a little plaque with her name on one of the armchairs.

The idea is that De Vagant will be used by all students, not only those who have classes in the Koningsberger or Minnaert buildings. It should be an attractive space for student associations and random groups of students from other faculties. The student committe that is going to manage the place is going to take care of that by coming up with an attractive programme.

UU students can attend De Vagant's launch week from September 12.