Nieuws - 23 februari 2012

Fighting for a place

Students think there are too few workstations in the Forum. And they claim that many of the computers are unusable due to technical problems. Are there grounds for all the grumbling?

Tesse Bijlsma
Fourth year student of Landscape Architecture

‘For group work you can always find a classroom. As for independent study, sometimes there is a lecture in a classroom that's only half-full. If you just ask the lecturer, you can often use a computer. In the study week especially, you need to get there quite early, particularly if you need a computer. Personally I prefer to take my laptop with me; then I can be sure of a place. Last study week I fled my house to study in the Forum, but then suddenly De Ontzetting gave a lunchtime concert. Nice enough music, but not when you are just buckling down to some philosophy.'

Barbara van Gulick
Fourth year student of International Land and Water Management

‘For group work teachers do not always book rooms. And certainly in the afternoons, it is then difficult to find a place to work, because that is when most groups get together. I have sometimes gone all around the Forum with a group, looking for a place to sit. If you want to talk, it's difficult, because you can't go into the library. But on the whole the facilities are good. During the private study week you see that people quickly stake their claims on places in the library. My housemate complained recently that ‘his' place had been stolen.'

Joris Fortuin
Forum manager

‘There are workstations and workstations. Throughout the forum there are workstations (tables and chairs) that are always accessible. When people talk about a shortage of workstations, they mean the pc places. In response to popular demand, an extra corridor was recently opened (during the study week and the exam week) on the sixth floor: there are plenty of pc rooms there. We did this a couple of years ago too, but because very little use was made of it, we stopped doing it. And now these places are not being used much either: ten people the first evening, four on the second and two on the third. The favourite spots are the internet tables on the balconies and the bridges.'

Clara Feldmanstern
American Erasmus student

‘I have been here a month now, and have encountered very few difficulties. For our group work we were allocated a room, and it really was free. I have found out by now that many of the computers in the library don't work, but up to now I have always been able to find one that works.'

Willemijn Sneller
VeSte board member

‘It is not just that there are too few workstations: there are too few good workstations. Many of the workstations in the Forum are intended for quickly checking your emails, but you see many students sitting there the whole day, or working on their theses there. And then at the end of the day they have sore necks and shoulders, because it's impossible to maintain a good posture there. It is good that the university is taking its responsibility seriously by opening up space for independent study on the sixth floor. But it came a bit late, at the end of the study week.'

Ibnu Khamais
First-year Master's student of Food Technology, from Indonesia

‘For everyday study purposes, the facilities are fine, but if you want to do group work, there are only 10 to 15 places on the upper floors. They fill up quickly. Working in the canteen is one alternative, but it is not very handy. I did my Bachelor's in The Hague, where you had lots of small project rooms. In the study week it's almost impossible to find a place in the Forum, let alone a place with a computer. But there are too many distractions at home so I really want to study here.'

Thijs Frenken
First-year Master's student of Earth & Environment

'The lack of workstations drives me crazy. In the study week you really have to get here by 8 or 9 o'clock if you want to have the use of a computer. And it is much easier to revise effectively if you have the lecture slides in front of you as wel as your book. But many of the computers are reserved for ACT groups, there are only 20 in the library and at least half of the ones on the bridge are either broken or dreadfully slow. Computer rooms are locked. At home there are far more distractions during the study week. The atmosphere here is relaxed and that motivates you to study.'

Thomas Janssen
Second-year Forest and Nature Management

‘We have lectures in the Forum in the mornings and we do group work in the afternoons. Rooms are booked for that in the Leeuwenborch. But we don't want to go there; we would rather stay here in the Forum. Now we are sitting in the canteen, but we usually first try to find a computer room. Yesterday we had to move halfway because a lecture was about to begin. I don't see it as a big problem. I am never here in the study weeks. I usually go to my parents' at that time, because then nice meals are cooked for me.'