Only UU students allowed to study in Janskerkhof Law building

The building on Janskerkhof 2/3. Photo: DUB

Director Martine Verbeek explains that, in October, the Faculty Board had to remind students and staff of the importance of the Coronavirus measures in the building located on Janskerkhof 2/3. Due to the high demand for study spots in the building, it was becoming more and more difficult to follow guidelines such as cleaning classrooms and study spots. In addition, there were signs that non-UU students were also making use of the building to study.

Not only was this annoying for Law students, it was also impossible for the Faculty to reach this group of non-UU students to remind them to follow the rules to contain the virus while in the building. They couldn't be reached by e-mail as it's done with UU employees and students. “The only way to get a grip on this situation is to only admit UU students and ask people to show their student card upon arrival,” says Verbeek. She cannot say how many non-UU students were making use of the building.

Study places were already relatively scarce in the Janskerkhof building, according to Verbeek, a situation that only got worse after the pandemic. Normally, there are about 127 study spots in the building, but only 55 are available now. 110 additional spots have been created in class rooms and other teaching areas, provided that there are no classes being given.

Janskerkhof 2/3 is particularly popular among students because, besides the University Library, it is the only large UU building in the city centre where students are allowed to study. Another reason why so many students like to study there is because they do not have to make a reservation, while the library does require them to do so.

The study places are in use every day and peace has returned to the building, says Verbeek. Now that students are being checked at the entrance, it has become much easier to follow the Corona rules. “In addition to preventing the spread of the virus, we also want to prevent our buildings from having to be closed again. It is very important for many of our students to be able to study in peace in our building at least from time to time.”

The problem of non-UU students studying in UU buildings isn't new. In 2017, DUB showed that 40 percent of the people using the study spots at the University Library were actually students of the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Utrecht). Since 2019, Hogeschool students are no longer welcome in the University Library during exam periods. Secondary school students also caused nuisance in the University Library City Centre a year ago.