Just like cultural institutions, sports clubs, bars, restaurants and night clubs, the doors of student associations in Delft and other student cities have been closed during the corona crisis. The Municipality of Delft is currently working with a lawyer to determine the category under which student associations with their own hospitality facilities fall. "This has never been clear, but now that the Cabinet has announced that it will gradually relax the corona measures, the question suddenly becomes relevant," says a municipal spokesperson.
The closure of student associations’ physical spaces has had an impact on the social life of many students. "I hear from so many members that they miss the drinks and, in particular, the friendly atmosphere, enormously," says external Commissioner Samuel Bronkhorst of K.S.V. Sanctus Virgilius. "Normally members would see each other several times a week, and now they don't see each other at all."
Radio shows and remote concerts
Instead, the associations are organising online activities. For example, members of the Delft Student Union have started a radio show. Its Secretary Delano Flipse says that "We have drawn up a Top 2000 with the input of the whole association.” D.S.V. Sint Jansbrug is working with the music association Valerius. "Valerius is giving remote concerts and hosting an online talent show," says External Relations Commissioner Effie Leijten.
If student associations are classified as hospitality establishments, they will probably be allowed to reopen after 1 June as long as they adhere to the rules of the one-and-a-half-metre economy, just like bars, hotels and restaurants. "And if they don't fall under the hospitality sector, we need to assess which category they belong to. Just like how to keep the one-and-a-half-metres distance rule in student houses, this requires a local solution," continued the municipal spokesperson.
One option is that the Municipality work with the nearby student cities of Leiden and Rotterdam to come up with a solution. Delft intends to adopt a position before 1 June.
(Muriël van Oers/ Annebelle de Bruijn)