For a more democratic university

Students occupy dining area inside city centre library

bezetting efo ub binnenstad foto DUB

The students entered the library on Thursday, February 22, at noon. They moved a few tables around so that people could start painting slogans on sheets. Meanwhile, the coffee machines were in full swing. Sheets with the slogan ''If there were no limits, what would you change?'' were stuck to the tables, where students conversed with each other. 

bezetting ub binnenstad efo foto DUB

This is not the first time EFO has occupied one of the university's buildings. Last year, they occupied the Minnaert building, at Utrecht Science Park, for a few days. Now, they have teamed up with other groups to do so, including Casual Utrecht, the Consent Project, Plant-Based Universities, Scientist Rebellion and Utrecht in Solidarity for Palestine.

The common denominator among all these activists is their disapproval of certain structures and hierarchies within the university. Spokesperson Boobie explains: "Democracy is hard to find and the structures to participate are not accessible. That's why we have decided to set up our own form of democracy, in which there is room to listen to our fellow students." The protest groups say they are "taking back the university" and they hope to show other students that they can do it too. All groups have a designated space to tell occupiers about their worries, hopes, and strategies. There is no unified goal apart from the hope that students will soon have a better idea of what kind of university community they envision. 

bezetting workshop foto DUB

The protest only lasted one day. The dining area was used as an "autonomous space" to enable conversations. The goal of the one-day protest was to unite students and employees in the hopes that everyone would see how many people they could reach as a collective.

woody grooves bezetting UB foto DUB