SSH hires security after party at Winschoterdiep

SSH hires security after party at Winschoterdiep

Student housing corporation SSH will hire security for all its Groningen property to prevent parties during the corona period. The decision was made after the police was called to put an end to a party in the student flat at the Winschoterdiep.
20 October om 14:28 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:22 uur.
October 20 at 14:28 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:22 PM.


Door Denise Overkleeft

20 October om 14:28 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:22 uur.

By Denise Overkleeft

October 20 at 14:28 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:22 PM.

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The party was ‘fairly quiet for a Winschoterdiep party’, says an international student of computer science who wants to remain anonymous because they’re afraid they might get kicked out. ‘The party we had the Tuesday before was much wilder.’

Nevertheless, the party prompted several nuisance calls, which meant the police arrived at the property around two in the morning to break up the party. 

The student says there were approximately fifty people at the party, which was being thrown by several residents at the complex, which mainly houses international students. They posted an open invitation on social media.

Completely unacceptable

SSH was very unhappy with the party. ‘Let us make clear, in no uncertain terms, that this type of partying and gathering together is completely unacceptable’, the corporation wrote in an angry email to all residents. Everyone, including residents at the Winschoterdiep, are doing their very best to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, SSH continues. ‘The behaviour of some of you last night is just a slap to their face, which no one can tolerate.’

In consultation with the Safety Region, which was informed of the party by the police, SSH has implemented stricter rules. Residents are no longer allowed to have guests. Anyone who isn’t a resident of the flat is no longer welcome. A maximum of four people are allowed in common rooms as long as they keep their distance, and the common rooms are off limits after 10 p.m. 

Repercussions

According to the email, Friday’s party can lead to ‘serious repercussions’ for (some of) the residents. ‘There is now a zero-tolerance policy by us, the police and the municipality in regards to the tenants at Winschoterdiep. Whether you were involved in the partying from yesterday or not’, the email reads.

Anyone who breaks the house rules, the new extra regulations, Dutch law, or the national corona regulations faces dire consequences, the mail says. The newly hired security will make sure that anyone breaking the rules will be dealt with. They’ll be posting during the weekend as well.

SSH will announce the party’s consequences for the residents later this week. 

People not used to UG smoking ban yet

People not used to UG smoking ban yet

Since August 1, smoking has been banned everywhere on UG premises. Now that the academic year is starting again, it’s clear that not everyone is aware of this.
16 September om 11:24 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.
September 16 at 11:24 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.


Door Denise Overkleeft

16 September om 11:24 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.

By Denise Overkleeft

September 16 at 11:24 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.

Denise Overkleeft

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Two parallel blue lines on the ground and various no-smoking signs designate the area between the UB and the Academy building where smoking is banned. Anyone who does light up will get a talking to from the UG stewards. They could even be fined, since the ban is legally binding.

Nonsense, says physics student Racula (20). ‘Who cares whether I’m smoking right here, or’, she says, as she jumps over to the other side of the blue line, ‘right here? People are going to smoke anyway. The rules won’t change anything.’

Biology student Fay Mavrepi (18) lights up next to the UB without a care. When told about the smoking ban, she’s surprised. ‘I can’t smoke here?’ she asks, incredulous. ‘You mean inside the building? Or outside?’

Zernike

Clearly, not everyone is aware of the smoking ban in the Broerstraat. At Zernike campus, in the meantime, there isn’t a smoker in sight. But then again, there aren’t that many students on campus, since many classes are being taught online.

Once classes are back on campus, it’ll be tough getting used to the new rules, says Fay. ‘After I’ve sat in class for an hour, my brain needs some nicotine. I’d hate it if I wouldn’t be able to smoke.’

She has been smoking less, since it’s no longer allowed at Zernike, a ban she did know about. ‘Fortunately, they’re not super strict. I got caught the other day and they gave me a warning, but I was still allowed to finish my cigarette.’

Fan

Other students do appreciate the new no-smoking policy. ‘I’m a big fan’, says Sandra Boznovska (21), a student of arts, culture and media. ‘If I were a non-smoker I wouldn’t like it if people blew smoke in my face.’

But the ban isn’t just about protecting non-smokers: it should also discourage smokers. The UG wants people to stop thinking smoking is normal. Sandra thinks it’s an admirable goal. ‘The world would be a much better place if no one smoked’, she says, taking another drag from her cigarette.

When you need a doctor

How to survive in Groningen

When you need a doctor

Studying abroad is all about new experiences and meeting new people. But it also means you’ll encounter a new healthcare system. Before you start your student life in Groningen, it might be useful to familiarise yourself with the Dutch system.
27 August om 8:00 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.
August 27 at 8:00 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.


Door Denise Overkleeft

27 August om 8:00 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.

By Denise Overkleeft

August 27 at 8:00 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.

Denise Overkleeft

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To make use of the Dutch healthcare provisions, you need a BSN: a burgerservicenummer (citizen service number). You need this anyway if you want to live in the Netherlands. You can apply for this number at your local municipality.

As soon as you have received your BSN, you can register with a general practitioner (huisarts). In the Netherlands, you can choose your own GP. On this website you can find and compare the doctors in your area.

In general, Dutch doctors do speak English. The StudentArts specialises in expats and students and is therefore a safe choice.

Making an appointment

Once you are registered at a general practitioner’s clinic, making an appointment when you’re feeling ill is easy. You can go online or call your doctor’s office to schedule a time to come by.

In the Netherlands, GPs serve as gatekeepers to further medical services. This means that you will always need to schedule a visit with your GP before going anywhere else, like a specialised department in the hospital.

Pharmacies

That also applies to the access to medication. In the Netherlands, simple treatments for things like the flu can be bought at drugstores – like Kruidvat and Etos – without a prescription. Specialised drugs are only available in pharmacies. For these, you need a prescription from your GP.

Emergency

Usually, you also need a referral letter of the GP to go to the hospital. But what if you are in need of medical care outside of the regular office hours? In this case, you can call the Doctor’s Service Groningen (Doktersdienst) at 0900-9229. They can forward you to the general practitioner’s emergency room or, in a worst case scenario, send you an ambulance. Keep in mind that such an emergency visit is often not covered by your insurance. So only go there if it is really necessary.

In case of an acute medical emergency, you need to call 112 – the national emergency number. 

Drawings of a remarkable city

Arida immortalises Groningen’s icons

Drawings of a remarkable city

Have you ever noticed those amazing, detailed drawings of iconic UG buildings UKrant posts on its Instagram account? Student Arida Fitriana Yasmin makes these at our request.

17 June om 11:25 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.
June 17 at 11:25 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.


Door Denise Overkleeft

17 June om 11:25 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:21 uur.

By Denise Overkleeft

June 17 at 11:25 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:21 PM.

Denise Overkleeft

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Each month, we post a photo of a drawing with the actual building in the background. It all started a little less than a year ago when Arida posted a drawing of city market Merckt on her own Instagram page.

Arida (25), who’s doing a master in the history of architecture and town planning at the UG, arrived in Groningen in 2019, after a long journey. It was an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country, with unfamiliar architecture. Arida hails from the Indonesian island Java.  

While she was wandering her new home, she came upon the new Merckt building at the Grote Markt. Arida took a picture of the building and decided to draw it.

She used the tag #ukrant, and we took notice. We asked Arida to do more of these drawings. Not just of any buildings, but of iconic university property. Arida has drawn the Academy building, the Linnaeusborg, the Harmonie building, and the medical faculty. Right now, she’s working on a drawing of the University Library.

Remarkable city

Arida says Groningen is a remarkable city. ‘The UG dominated Groningen; its buildings are everywhere’, she says. ‘The university hasn’t played it safe when it comes to the architecture of these buildings: they’ve used so many different building styles. It’s an interesting mix of the old and the modern.’

This inspired her to start drawing again. Arida has her method. First, she visits the building to take pictures from all sides. Then, she decides from which perspective to draw it, after which she starts the drawing itself. 

It can take her hours or even days to finish a single drawing. ‘I’m a perfectionist which means I’m not easily satisfied’, says Arida. That’s because of her upbringing. ‘My parents always urged me to do my best in school and get excellent grades.’ 

Passion 

She’s had a lifelong passion for architecture. ‘When I was a kid I would tell everyone that I wanted to be an architect. Even though I had no idea what that was.’

In high school, it was believed that if you were good in maths and you liked art, you would become an architect, she says. ‘I happened to be great at numbers and art was my favourite subject. It was an easy choice when I went to university.’  

But it’s not always been easy, she says. ‘The road to becoming an architect is hard: I had sleepless nights for four years and was even admitted to the hospital once. But I know I’ll be able to get a good job an architect. That helped me get through it.’ 

Escape

A scholarship made her dream of studying in Europe a reality. She really wanted to study in the Netherlands. ‘Because of our mutual history’, she explains. ‘When Indonesia was still a Dutch colony, the Dutch constructed a lot of impressive buildings here.’ 

Capturing the buildings on paper is her way of escaping the pressures of the world. ‘Everyone has their own way of escaping study stress. I draw.’

They don’t want beer, they want to study

Students happy that Forum is open again

They don’t want beer, they want to study

While many thirsty students flocked to the reopened cafés and their outdoor spaces, others are huddled over their books. The relaxation of the corona rules means that the study spots at the Forum are available again.
3 June om 11:28 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.
June 3 at 11:28 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.


Door Denise Overkleeft

3 June om 11:28 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.

By Denise Overkleeft

June 3 at 11:28 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.

Denise Overkleeft

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One of the students making use of them is Merve Ayanoglu (30), who’s working on her master thesis for her master in youth 0-21, society and policy. For her it’s the Forum, rather than the pub, that makes her happy.

‘A lot of my friends are international students and they all went home. I missed being surrounded by people. The Forum is a lively place, which I find motivating.’

Crowded

The Forum might be lively, but in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, it can’t get too crowded. Before you’re allowed in, you have to answer a few questions, like whether you have any cold- or flu-like symptoms. If you’ve answered every question in the negative and disinfected your hands, you can go in.

Inside the Forum, people have to stay a safe distance away from each other; they need to leave at least four steps between them on the escalator. Students are allowed to sit down at every other table. Visitors who don’t follow the rules will be addressed. ‘Would you please move one seat over? You can only sit at the tables with a green dot’, an employee says to a student who’s at the wrong table. 

Exams

The rules take some getting used to, but the reopening is perfect timing for some students. Medical student Mrwan Almuteiri (22) has an exam in three days.

‘At home, I just can’t get motivated’, he says. ‘I’m so happy the Forum is open again. It’s quiet and calm here; the atmosphere is unique.’

Mathematics student Laura Oldenburger (19) is making good use of the reopened study facilities. ‘To be honest, I kind of pretended I was on holiday the past few weeks.’ She lives with four roommates, and while that makes for a fun house to live in, it’s not a great place to study.

She has a much easier time focusing at the Forum. She hopes it will stay quiet for now. ‘Otherwise I’d have to wait in line in the morning, just like at the UB. That would suck.’

Sit-in to protest racism: ‘In four years, I had only one black professor’

Sit-in to protest racism

‘In four years, I had only one black professor’

Hundreds of people gathered at the Grote Markt on Tuesday night for a sit-in to protest against racism. UG students helped organised the protest.

By Denis Overkleeft, video by Rianne Aalbers
3 June om 10:51 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.
June 3 at 10:51 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.

‘It was unbelievable’, says psychology student Mirjam Derko, one of the organisers of the ‘Sit-in against anti-black violence in the US & EU’. ‘I didn’t expect to see so many people, especially during a pandemic.’ 

Mirjam is president of the Women’s March Groningen, who organised the event – one of many all over the world since large protests erupted across the United States last weekend – together with the Groningen Feminist Network and Black Ladies of Groningen.

It’s difficult to say how many people attended the protest exactly. The city of Groningen said it was eight hundred – the number allowed because of the corona pandemic – or maybe a thousand. The organisation thinks there were 1,500 people.

Safe distance

One thing is certain: many people wore face masks and sat down to show their support. They all kept a safe distance from each other, sitting down on the colourful crosses the organisation had drawn on the Grote Markt in chalk. ‘The markings were two to three metres apart’, says Mirjam. All protesters had their own little spot. 

They all watched and listened to the speakers making their voices heard in front of the municipal building. The young black women talked about racist police violence, sang songs about justice, and urged the crowd to sing with them. ‘Our goal was to raise awareness of racism, because it is everywhere. Even in the Netherlands.’

Dutch racism

Amberlee Siland (22), who studies business administration, was also at the protest and experiences Dutch racism herself. ‘At work, people act differently around me because of the colour of my skin’, she says. ‘They’ll stop talking about disadvantaged neighbourhoods once I join the conversation, for example.’

Biomedical sciences student Soeraya agrees. ‘Racism is always an issue; it’s become so normalised.’ It’s the small, innocent-seeming things that can be so insidious. ‘Like people touching my curly hair when I don’t want them to. It’s really annoying’, she says.

Role models

The Dutch form of racism is also apparent in other ways, like the lack of role models in important positions, even at the UG. ‘In the four years that I’ve been studying here, I had only one black professor. That’s it’, says Mirjam.

‘Black students need role models, people to look up to. But it’s difficult if they can’t identify with any of the people in power at the university.’ 

It’s high time for an honest and open conversation about this, she feels. ‘There is no such thing as colour blindness. Racism is deeply rooted in our society and we need to talk about it.’