Science - March 11, 2004

Student club ratings: Unitas youth club

What can the Wageningen student associations offer international students? Wb put the question to the five big student clubs and some of the study associations. Part 4, Unitas youth club, Generaal Foulkesweg 74

Type of club: Unitas was originally a student society for male students only, found 69 years ago. Somewhere in the beginning of the 1970s Unitas decided to open its doors to young people who were not studying as well. About 20 percent of the members are not students at Wageningen University. `We just like organising cool things, and we are proud of it,’ says board member Roel van der Berg. ‘We are a diverse organisation.’

Openness: `We want to be as accessible as possible, but we confine ourselves to young people,’ explains Van der Berg. Every Thursday and Saturday there are parties that are open to everyone.

International members: There are 42 international B-members. Unitas distinguishes two types of members. The A-members are really active in the club. B-members are ones who come for the activities. `You can become a member of Unitas at any time during the year, there are no obligations, and everything is possible,’ says Van der Berg.

Language: `You do not have to speak Dutch to participate,’ says van der Berg. `We are gradually internationalising our publicity. We are translating the website and the mensa menu. The uitkrant, in which all the activities of Unitas are listed, is still in Dutch because it is also sent to other organisations in the Netherlands and because young people who are not students of Wageningen UR also read it. However, it is possible to receive an English version by e-mail. Just send a mail to info@jvunitas.nl,’ Van der Berg says.

Does Unitas have anything to offer to non-Dutch students? `All our activities are open to non-Dutch students. If you like organising things, you can do it here. We have no rule prohibiting the use of English,’ Van der Berg says. There are quite a lot of internationally oriented activities. We organise some of our parties together with the international student organisation. Members can participate in any of the Unitas committees, such as the movie committee or the band committee. There is a group of people who like to organise house-events, and others who organise reggae parties. This Friday, we have the first C-café, a cultural evening, which will include a selection of short movies. Everyone is welcome.

Guido van Hofwegen

Chinese students at the Chinese New Year’s celebrations at Unitas. The youth club is perhaps the most international of the Dutch student organisations in Wageningen, although its membership is not confined to students.

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