Student - March 31, 2010


I have my very own WUR sweater: a dark blue one. I thought my choice was quite uncontroversial, but not a bit of it.

Wearing it around Wageningen is no problem, of course. (In terms of clothing, there isn't much that's off limits in Wageningen anyway.) But wearing a WUR sweater in Velp feels like going to Rotterdam in an Ajax shirt. Without the hooliganism, of course. In my WUR sweater I am a traitor, arrogant as well as unfriendly: 'Oi Stijn, are we getting a bit above ourselves or something?'
Very occasionally someone really does seem to be in awe of me, but then they still assume I am a genuine WU student. Because, let's be honest, we at Van Hall Larenstein are not all that keen on Wageningen University. Because you lot look down on us! And 'they' - and by that I mean everyone belonging to Wageningen UR - are threatening our country estate with building plans, and are forcing costly services on us that we haven't even asked for.
Take WURweb, for instance. Apparently it costs at least a couple of thousand euros for every old laptop that gets onto the network (and our own network was supposedly too expensive.) Then there was our accommodation in Deventer, which was far too expensive at 800 thousand a year. (And now it costs 1.4 million.)
Personally, it makes me smile. I imagine Aalt Dijkhuizen as a slippery car salesman, and us poor VHL-students as gullible customers grudgingly emptying their wallets.
In spite of all our frustration, a meaningful cooperation with our mother institute just isn't happening. Well, it wouldn't, would it, because they all look down their noses at us? I myself have not had this problem. When I visit Wageningen - I followed an optional course there at one stage - I have to confess I actually feel very welcome. I get invited to the drinks parties at one of the Wageningen student associations these days. In Velp I sometimes boast about being probably the only VHL-student who gets invited there. But my real reason for going there has nothing to do with networking, prestige or showing off. Actually, I really do like these 'condescending' WU students. And that is why I take this opportunity to invite all university students to come and see us in Velp (the rest of them are still in the dark about this). Just to meet socially. A warm welcome to all of you. And...don't forget to wear your WUR sweater.