The three large student associations and Student Council party VeSte have sent a letter of appeal to the municipality to place the lack of student housing on the agenda. They want the municipality and university to take their responsibility.
The Binnenveld © Joris Schaap
Oscar Versteeg is fed up with Dutch students being forced to keep living with their parents due to the housing shortage in Wageningen. The chair of student association W.S.V. Ceres is displeased to see members of the association having to travel for two hours to get to the university. ‘WUR reserves 1000 rooms for international students. I understand that these students must be given a roof above their head, but it can’t be that an unlimited number of students is drawn from abroad and that Dutch students have to live in Ede, on a camping or with their parents, just because they have to look for housing in Wageningen for over a year. And measures like the one limiting the ratio of student houses per street to five percent do not really help either.’
Together with his colleagues from KSV Franciscus, SSR-W and the Student Council party VeSte, he appealed to the municipality and the university to get some work done with this housing shortage. The moment was not chosen at random: the campaigns for the municipal elections have started recently. The student associations hope that their voices will finally be heard. Versteeg: ‘Neither one is doing anything at the moment, or certainly not enough. Why won’t they take their responsibility?’
Does he know why the municipality doesn’t do anything about the shortage? ‘Thirty percent of the Wageningen population are students, but students are scarcely represented in the Wageningen Council.’ Versteeg thinks for a bit, and says ‘You know, that shortage also has consequences for the members of the associations. You wouldn’t want a student to cycle alone all the way back to Ede after an evening at the association, would you?’