News - October 21, 2011

Student campsite plan on home straight

Homeless students should soon be able to pitch their tents at a campsite in Wageningen. The plan by student entrepreneurs association SIFE got the green light from Wageningen city council this week.

The campsite on the Marijkeweg will have 50 pitches and will be running until the end of February 2012. This is not ideal, given that housing provider Idealis usually has a waiting list until May. Moreover, the council requires guarantees on safety and hygiene at the campsite, and that it is not a nuisance to the neighbourhood. With these provisos, the council is enthusiastic about the plan. 'We see this as a very sympathetic initiative, taken by students themselves', says Councillor Michiel Uitdehaag, responsible for spatial planning, housing and accessibility.

The last hurdle for the project is to find a backer. 'We cannot shoulder all the financial risks alone', says SIFE spokesman (and Resource blogger) Tom Rijntjes. The organizers are therefore talking to various parties, but Rijntjes does not want to name names at this point. Logical partners would be Wageningen UR, the town council or housing provider Idealis.

The town campsite is likely to feature today (Thursday 20 October) on the NOS News on Channel 3.