Organisation - September 6, 2018

Homeless students

Vincent Oostvogels

My coursemate spend the holiday in Lumen, finishing off his thesis. It was a long hot summer, full of coffee breaks and uninspiring strolls over the campus. He hadn’t had any interesting experiences, with the exception of that strange encounter recently, when it was time for an afternoon walk in the garden behind the building.

When he was by the pond he heard some muffled sounds from the direction of the hedge. A bit further along, near the bat sanctuary, he went through the hedge to get to the trial fields. And there he stumbled upon a boy and a girl. They had tousled hair and rosy cheeks and they were tugging at their clothing. He wanted to have a chat – after all, he was on his break – but they walked off, giggling.

I don’t think they were just any girl and boy. If you ask me, there was something going on that explains why they felt caught in the act. I think so many first-years can’t find a room that some of them are secretly sleeping rough on the campus: homeless students. Sleeping under the bridge at the Forum pond, showering in the toilets at the Leeuwenborch and secretly doing their laundry in that washing machine in the basement of the Forum -  that kind of scenario.

It is all very well of course, but now the winter is coming. Idealis cannot build fast enough and the university does not see housing as its responsibility, so I have made up my mind. The first homeless student I come across myself is welcome to my sofa.