Every year on April 1st we are faced with the daunting task of discerning fact from fiction, whilst unsuspecting citizens are tricked time and time again by relentless tricksters. That’s right, the day for pranksters and jokesters to peddle their best is again upon us.  This year has been rather quiet at EUR compared to the efforts of other universities throughout the country, with only two known pranks, neither of which stood up to the national competition.

The first prank from EUR’s University Council. The University Council suggested a member of the Executive Board join to represent higher level interests on the Council. Unlike the students of Amsterdam, EUR’s University Council sees little value in a student joining the Executive Board in order to improve participation in university affairs, instead arguing it would be far more efficient for all to have the Executive Board represented closer to student level.

Arnoud-Jan Rand

Erasmus Magazine attempted a similar prank, this time printing a letter from a concerned student “Arnoud-Jan Rand” who called for more corporate involvement with the University. Arnoud-Jan Rand invited those interested in increasing commercial involvement and interests at EUR to join him today for the inaugural meeting of “The New University” (in response to, De Nieuwe Universiteit), in the faculty club. Pauline van der Meer Mohr, Chair of the Executive Board, tweeted her support for the planned meeting, yet still no one was fooled. No one shared Arnoud-Jan Rand’s concerns; the first meeting of The New University was empty.

Meanwhile, Nijmegen’s Radboud University has announced a new approach towards sex on campus due to an overwhelming number of complaints from cleaning staff in recent weeks. The University is avoiding banning the practice entirely as a large number of studies point out such an approach is “counter-productive”, instead opting for a policy of toleration and regulation. “”We see it as a necessary evil. Regulation is a better alternative to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum,” the university spokesperson explained to VOX magazine. Although still searching for creative solutions, the university has confirmed it will be opening new ‘Radboud Relax Rooms’ for those seeking privacy for on-campus thrills.


Maagdenhuis taken over

In Amsterdam, De Nieuwe Universiteit action group confirmed what was suspected all along; the Maagdenhuis has been taken over by professional activists and squatters, rather than concerned students as has been claimed in the past. The professional group, known as De Nieuwe Demonstrant (the new demonstrators) have scrapped the previous six demands of previous occupiers, De Nieuwe Universiteit, instead asking for only one thing; study credit. The occupiers claim the new demand to be more feasible for the University of Amsterdam to fulfil, as awarding credits fits better with the efficiency-orientated approach of UvA. De Nieuwe Demonstrant have also called for the same rights as other professionals requesting the cleaners return to the Maagdenhuis. They claim as professional protesters they, like other professionals, “have no time for cleaning”.

Declining language skills in Utrecht

Dutch students’ language skills have been declining in recent years, and Utrecht University has a new plan to change this, reports DUB. The number of Dutch university students unable to read, write and speak decent Dutch is staggering. In an attempt to prevent these students from encountering difficulties with writing their theses, Utrecht University has come up with an ingenious plan; first year Dutch students must have a sufficient grasp of their language or face receiving a negative BSA, meaning they will be unable to continue their education. Unfortunately this prank seems to been taken a little too seriously, with comments blaming the education system for failing Dutch students…

Basic income for students

The National Union of Students (LSVb) is lending support for the introduction of the ‘basic income’ in the Netherlands. The upcoming change from student grants to student loans sparked LSVb’s interest in the basic income idea, as a basic income package would mean that students can again focus on their studies without added financial worries. In the coming months LSVb will turn their attention to lobbying for a basic income to be introduced in the Netherlands, although they point out that in many students’ cases, a basic income of around 280 euros may suffice.

EUR’s efforts may not have been as creative and quirky as others, but there’s always next year to try again! HK