Wetenschap - 16 mei 2002

SSHW wants to house Chinese in Dijkgraaf flat

SSHW wants to house Chinese in Dijkgraaf flat

The announcement on the Wesp website for Wageningen students was a bombshell. Student Huub puts his response on the message board, "I live in 14b, so we'll have to get out. Very nice." Along with his other flatmates, Huub was told at the end of April that the student accommodation office SSHW wants to move all students living on the top three floors of the Dijkgraaf apartment block. This is to make place for the first group of Chinese MSc students from the University of Beijing, that will arrive in Wageningen in the summer of 2003.

"These are different students from the Chinese already here in Wageningen," explains Jan Harkema of SSHW. "Not only are they younger, but they will come in groups and spend most of their stay here with people of their own group. These students are coming here to graduate and not primarily to take part in Wageningen student life. That's why we want to house them together."

The arrival of the new students is planned to take place in phases. By April 2003 the occupants will have to vacate the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth floors of Dijkgraaf so that the new arrivals can move in during the summer. A year later the four storeys below will undergo the same fate.

The current Dijkgraaf inhabitants are angry. "It's naive of SSHW to think we will just accept this," announces the Dijkgraaf student representative Albert de Bakker on the website wesp.wau.nl. It was partly as a result of his initiative that two SSHW representatives came to discuss the matter with the angry occupants. One of the suggestions of the students was that floors should be reserved in other student apartment blocks as well for Chinese students. "We will discuss this internally," replied Harkema, who will soon also have discussions with a representative from the university in Beijing. "We hope to have the matter sorted out within two weeks."

Willem Koert