More fresh air, but less easily accessible

Study associations from Humanities leave Drift for three years

UHSK kamer studievereniging Foto: Yashwanti Puar
UHSK's room. Photo: Yashwanti Puar

Last month, the study associations from the Faculty of Humanities were preparing their moving boxes. They must leave the building at Drift 21 because the university will renovate its properties on that street. 

The move to Kromme Nieuwegracht 80 was postponed for two weeks due to an occupation by pro-Palestine protesters, but now they are finally there. DUB took a look at their new premises, just a few minutes away from Drift by bike.

Once we arrive on the second floor, we find the associations' rooms along a hallway, one next to the other. At the end of the hallway, there is a meeting room which the associations are already using quite a lot, based on the registration list stuck to the door. Every day, this room is reserved by several associations for meetings or activities.

The new accommodation has been given a small makeover: the walls have received a coat of white paint, lighting fixtures have been changed, and additional outlets have been installed. The board members of UHSK (History), FUF (Philosophy) and Albion (English) we spoke to are satisfied with what the new place looks like.

“The fact that we can open the windows in this room is literally a relief for us,” says Jasmijn, secretary at UHSK. “We couldn't do that in our old room on Drift. We longed for some fresh air.”

Some get more space, others less
Silke, from Albion, sees nothing but an improvement compared to the previous room. “We hardly had room to manoeuvre on Drift. It was so small that people had to stand in the doorway when we had a game afternoon. The walls were also pilling due to water infiltration. Now, we have four times as much space and it is nice and clean.”

FUF chairman Stefan and Treasurer Max are also pleased with their new room. “It is at least twice as big,” they say with a big smile.

Jasmijn, from UHSK, is less satisfied with the size of their room. “There are more associations together in the same space now, so you meet more people. We have our own storage space across the street for all our books, but we actually have less space now and we lack an office. That's a shame, considering we have more than a thousand members.”

Instagram videos
Before the move, the associations' biggest fear was that their members would not be able to find the new rooms. Many Humanities students have classes on Drift or study at the city centre library. The fact that the associations are on Kromme Nieuwegracht now does not make things easier for them.

To make sure students know where to find them, many associations have made videos for their Instagram accounts in which they show exactly how to go from their old headquarters to the new one. 

Longing for Drift
Although the videos help students find their way, UHSK and FUF miss their old spots. Jasmijn: “The members have to walk or cycle to get here and it is hard to park your bicycle. It is a pity we are no longer next to the University Library. People used to drop by after class, but that's not as easy now. Our postal address is also still at Drift, so I always have to walk back and forth to get packages and letters. Everyone will have to get used to this new place.”

Max, from FUF, agrees. “In terms of space, the room is better, but we are no longer on Drift. The location there was just perfect. Now we are trying to attract members by sending them messages on WhatsApp. If someone lets us know they are coming, more usually follow.”

Silke, from Albion, doesn't miss Drift as much. “This new place is actually great. First-year students often have lectures on the ground floor, so they should be able to find us better than before.”

The associations had to move so that the university could make the educational buildings on Drift more sustainable. The renovation of Drift 21 will start this summer. The “interior, air treatment and insulation” will be improved, UU shares on its student site. From February 2025 onwards, that building will not be available for classes for approximately two years. The same will happen with Drift 23 and 25.

The associations are expected to remain at Kromme Nieuwegracht for at least three years. Once the renovations are completed, Aladdin (Islam and Arabic), Albion (English), Art (Art History), Awater (Dutch), Babel (Linguistics), Cs Ubuntu (Conflict Studies), FUF (Philosophy), Incognito (Artificial Intelligence) and UHSK (History) will return to Drift.