Poetry on campus

Lev Avitan new campus poet

Last Tuesday, at the campus poet election in theater hall C, Lev Avitan was elected as the new campus poet of Radboud University (RU) for the upcoming academic year. He will follow in the footsteps of Sander Bisselink, the current campus poet.

Original text and translation: Vincent Veerbeek

Avitan, student of Philosophy at the RU, started his artistic career with English-language spoken word poetry, but made the switch to Dutch about a year ago. In addition to this, he also writes, and hopes to combine these two styles as campus poet. Previously, he performed at the Buiten Zinnen literary festival and with Mensen Zeggen Dingen, among others. In the election for campus poet, he only had two competitors, fellow Philosophy student Pieter Theunissen and student of Political Sciences Thom Oudshoorn.

As campus poet, Avitan will get the chance to recite his poems at various events, like poetry festival Onbederf'lijk Vers and literary festival de Wintertuin. His work will also be published in university magazine Vox after the summer.

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RU in rainbow colors

Tenth edition of the Pink Week in motion

This week, gay youth organization Dito! is organizing the Pink Week. By decorating the campus with rainbow flags they want to raise awareness regarding the acceptation, emancipation and celebration of people of the LGBT community.

Original text: Vincent Veerbeek
Translation: Evelien Müller

A wide range of activities
The Pink Week, on the one hand, is meant for all students who are part of the LGBT community, but are not fully comfortable with it yet. Dito! wants these students to realize that they are not alone, and that they are worth it. On the other hand, this week intends to show all students that Radboud University has an LGBT community, and that the acceptation of this community can be improved. To raise awareness regarding this issue, different activities are organized on campus. The week started with a drag bingo and a karaoke party. Furthermore, there was a lecture about HIV and AIDS on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, students are able to practice their dance moves during a workshop ballroom dancing.

Daan Janssen, chairman of Dito!, says that the organization has put in a lot of effort to make the tenth edition extra festive. 'This year, we tried thinking out of the box. We have a larger budget and we tried to organize lectures with well-known speakers, like Tanja Ineke, chair of COC The Netherlands. Furthermore, because of the ten-year anniversary, we are looking forward to the next ten years.'

Student elections
Hanging next to the rainbow flags, there are posters of all election candidates for asap and AKKUraatd, who are battling for a seat in the USR. Just like last year, the Pink Week coincides with the campaign week for the student elections. Janssen still hopes that this will not distract from the Pink Week. 'Indeed, it sucks. Before the student elections were planned, we alerted the university to the fact that the Pink Week would be held this week. Sadly, the choice was made to hold the student elections in this week as well. It is a pity, but we cannot do anything about it, so we will make the best of it.'

For everyone wanting to escape the campaign madness, several activities linked to the Pink Week will take place, such as a lecture, a party and a hungover yoga session.

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Ready, set, vote

Student parties asap and AKKUraatd announce programs

Leading up to this week’s student elections, both asap and AKKUraatd have published their programs.

Student party asap was the first to announce their program, which as always consists of ten points, last Tuesday. Although the party has made some semantic changes to their wish list compared to last year, many demands are similar in spirit. Familiar topics return, such as good education facilities, freedom of choice in education, and student wellbeing. What is noteworthy is that two of the ten points concern internationalization, namely the integration of international students and the quality of education taught in English. Earlier, asap announced that they will have an international student as a candidate for the first time. Sustainability, which was a part of the party's manifesto for the first time last year, made the list again.

AKKUraatd was the second to announce their program a day later, taking a somewhat more extensive approach than their competitor. Instead of ten points, their manifesto consists of no less than 28, spread out across four overarching themes. Like last year, those pillars are good education, a student life for everyone, a sustainable university, and strong student representation. Nevertheless, there are also a number of new demands. One of AKKUraatd's main goals this election is to make the Radboud Honours Academy accessible to all students. Additionally, AKKUraatd wants the university to loan laptops and hopes to introduce student panels in an effort to involve students in what is going on at the university. Apart from these new plans, there are also some familiar faces, like the call for a student member in the Executive Board and slogans like 'not a binding but an urging study advice'. One thing is certain: students who consider voting for AKKUraatd, will have plenty to read.

Unlike previous years, AKKUraatd and asap will be the only student parties competing this year. The elections will be held from Monday until this Thursday, May 31.

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Vincent Veerbeek
Green Office RU opens its doors

Sustainability like an oil spill

Radboud University (RU) has gotten a step closer to the realization of its sustainable ideals. Last Tuesday, the new Radboud Green Office was officially opened. With this, Nijmegen follows the example set by numerous other universities around the Netherlands, which have had a Green Office for a while.

Original text: Vincent Veerbeek
Translation: Lorin Posthumus

An example of progress
The Green Office has to become the place to be to propose sustainable ideas for students and employees at the RU and the Radboudumc. The office will have a connecting role between the sustainability projects that have already started. 'At the moment, there is already a lot going on', says Thijmen Sietsma, who is the green office coordinator. Sietsma is already mapping all the projects, like experimental gardens and the construction plans for the new Maria Montessori building. The Green Office will be situated in TvA1 with a progressive office that aims to serve as an example for the offices around the campus. 'I want to furnish the office with secondhand furniture', says Sietsma. 'It needs to become an example to show that things can be done differently, for instance by not using paper anymore but by using erasable notepads.'

Students in charge
It is not yet clear what exactly the office will be doing, because at the moment there are five open vacancies for the students who will be leading the office. 'I want students who work for the Green Office to have an important role in choosing the projects.' Being the coordinator, Sietsma will have a supporting role and give direction where needed but leave the rest to the students who are in charge. Because students are an important audience for the Green Office, the university has made the conscious choice to have the office be led by a student team. 'It is important that students continue to make sustainable choices even after they graduate and leave university.' Sietsma wants to raise more awareness above anything else. 'Hopefully awareness about sustainability will spread across the university like an oil spill.'

The blacksmith's secret
Even though AKKUraatd has been pleading for a Green Office since 2013, the actual realization of it had to wait until Nijmegen was proclaimed the official Green Capital of Europe. The RU is far from the first university with a special point of contact for sustainability issues. At the University of Maastricht, the first Green Office was opened in 2010 in an effort to put sustainability on the map. Since then, most Dutch universities have opened a Green Office, like the universities in Wageningen, Utrecht and Groningen. At the moment, the Green Office in Maastricht consists of six permanent student employees and thirty volunteers. 'Apart from creating our own projects and events we mostly want to help students and employees realize their own ideas, for instance by sharing practical information with them', says Camilo Straatsma, educational coordinator at the Green Office in Maastricht. The Green Office helps people to get in contact with each other. 'In some cases, different groups within the university work on a comparable project without knowing it', explains Straatsma. 'At one point, there were two institutions working on mapping sustainable restaurants and shops.' Nijmegen can learn a lot from cities like Maastricht, and Sietsma is planning to take advantage of that. 'We do not want to reinvent the wheel, because there is already a lot of available knowledge out there.'

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Interview Holsaby

The wheat and the chaff Holsaby

On May 8, the finale of Kaf en Koren (Wheat and Chaff) took place. Kaf en Koren is an annual musical competition in which starting student bands go up against each other to see which band is the best. In anticipation of the final evening at pop stage Merleyn, ANS interviewed the three finalists. This time: winning band Holsaby.

Original text: Elisa Ros Villarte
Translation: Evelien Müller and Aafke van Pelt
Photograph: Vincent Veerbeek

In 2012, the alternative pop/rock band Holsaby started as a cover band, playing songs within the genre of "farmer's rock". After four years, the band decided it was time for a more urban approach to their music, so they switched to writing their own songs, inspired by, among others, De Staat and the Editors. The band is from the Ravenstein area and consists of Sjouke Meerdink (singer and guitarist), Jesper van Griensven (drummer and singer), Kevin Kuijpers (guitarist), Thomas van den Boogaard (keyboard player and singer) and Gijs van Wijlen (bassist). Performing their own music, the band has played at culture stage the Groene Engel in Oss and musical festivals Open Errup and Rock op de Keien. This year, they recorded and published four songs, the most recent one being the song Can't See You No More. 'Our songs are a real sensation when performed live', Thomas says.

Holsaby FacebookThomas van den Boogaard and Sjouke Meerdink from Holsaby.

Why have you decided to perform your own music instead of covers?
Sjouke: 'We got bored with playing covers. At home, I had already spent quite a lot of time writing songs, so it seemed cool to try my own texts with the band. Eventually, I introduced the idea to the group, and we switched to performing our own music.'
Thomas: 'It took a while before we played our own songs to the outside world. I believe we had the first samples for a year before we finally decided to focus solely on our own songs.'
Sjouke: 'After we definitively made the decision, we also looked for another band name.'

How did you pick the name Holsaby?
Sjouke: 'This one evening, we were playing a shooting game, in which you have to enter your name to compete. Everyone was talking loudly and pressing random buttons, when a word sounding close to "holsaby" appeared on the screen.'
Thomas: 'It also doesn't have a meaning in any language. It is our own language. If you enter our band name into Google, provided that it is spelled correctly, you will immediately find everything about our band.'
Sjouke: 'It is not a very artistic story, but this is how it happened. The best ideas are often created during an evening of drinking beer.'

How would you describe your music?
Thomas: 'Our music is actually hard to place. Personally, we often describe it as alternative rock and pop, with a bit of indie.'
Sjouke: 'That is because our songs are not all the same. We consciously try to have some variety in our songs, for example by using different elements from various genres.'
Thomas: 'Our latest song, Can't see you no more, might even be slightly like a dance song and has something of an eighties vibe. I personally like using psychedelic sounds.'
Sjouke: 'Every song has its own influences from other bands, like De Staat, Kensington or Coldplay. We are still busy developing our own distinctive sound.'
Thomas: 'I think we are one of those bands that you have to see live. I am often told that our music is a lot more energetic live than on our recordings.'

How do your songs come about?
Sjouke: 'We tend to start with a melody, and a particular feeling will suit that. Sometimes I already have some phrases on paper which I will use, but it is not like I have the entire text written down beforehand. Jesper and I both write separately and we combine our lyrics later on. This could for example result in his text being the chorus and mine the verse. This way we get nice variations and it will always be a song from the entire band, not just from one person.'

What are your plans for the future?
Sjouke: 'We are really looking forward to the Kaf en Koren finale and we are curious to see what ends up happening. Apart from that, it is important for us to expand our setlist with more of our own work.'
Thomas: 'I do not think we are really the planning types. We sign ourselves up for band competitions without really thinking about it for a very long time. Other than that we will just keep making music and steadily rehearse every week.'

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Line-up campus festival announced

Kraantje Pappie to headline Radboud Rocks 2018

Last Wednesday, Radboud University (RU) announced which artists will perform during Radboud Rocks on May 24. Following Ronnie Flex's performance last year, the RU has again gone with Dutch hip hop by making Kraantje Pappie this year's headliner.

Original text and translation: Vincent Veerbeek

Aside from Kraantje Pappie, The Brahms and Rondé will be among the artists that are paying a visit to the Radboud campus. The performances will take place on the Erasmus square and the Pieter Bondam square, outside the Cultuur Café. For the most part, the organization of Radboud Rocks is building on the formula of previous years. Apart from the various big artists and smaller performances, the Grote Studentenbattle (Great Student Battle) will take place again. Different study and student associations will compete with each other in a series of challenges. The winning association will win eternal glory, as well as a special tile on the Pieter Bondam square.

Radboud Rocks will begin at four in the afternoon and last until eleven, followed by an after party at the Cultuur Café. Prior to the campus festival, Radboud Open Air is organized in light of this year’s lustrum. Arjen Lubach will be one of the speakers during this afternoon of lectures.

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Sports center introduces cultural courses

Absorbing culture with your sportscard

Spinning, yoga or swimming, the Radboud Sports Centre (RSC) has much to offer for sports lovers. With a series of new workshops in the upcoming period, the sports center plans to attract a new target group: culture fans.

Original text: Vincent Veerbeek
Translation: Marit de Vries

Starting on April 16, Student Life, together with the RSC, will start a pilot offering culture workshops to people in possession of a sportscard. Those who want to be trained in literary writing, drawing, photography, singing, or theater, can enroll in one of these five workshops. 'In many other cities, the local university offers culture workshops, which is why we wanted to do something similar', says Bart Baeten, culture producer at Student Life. The collaboration with the RSC is mostly out of practical considerations. 'We can launch a new portal but students might not be able to find it as easily.'

Interested students can now enroll for the culture workshops. Each of the workshops has around fifteen to twenty places available.

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