Despite the University Council’s creative ideas, additional study spots will not be created in the Polak Building. ‘We’ve reached the maximum number of occupants allowed under our building permit,’ said Sandra Klarenbeek of the University Support Centre (USC)’s Building Maintenance Service when student members of the University Council came to visit the building last Thursday.

Ever since the Polak Building was opened, there have been many complaints, both about the number of people using the building and about the uncomfortable benches and the lack of rubbish bins. Klarenbeek’s words disappointed the student members of the University Council, who had mainly organised last Thursday’s tour to show that there was room for more study spots. Councillor Korrein Volders, especially, pointed out several spots where he felt a few more desks could be placed.

Klarenbeek was favourably disposed to the students’ suggestions and agreed that there was room in the building for additional study spots, but indicated that these spots will not be realised, due to the maximum number of occupants allowed under the permit. ‘Maximum occupancy for this building has been set at 1,600 people at a time, and even though we never count the exact number, we’re sure we’ve reached our maximum, judging from how crowded it is in here.’ Maximum occupancy, she explained, is not calculated on the basis of the available floor area, but rather on the basis of the width of the corridors and staircases and the number of exits and emergency exits available.

More room in other buildings

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Even so, Klarenbeek promised that the situation will be improved. ‘We’re trying to create more study spots in other buildings and to provide more information on where spots are available,’ Klarenbeek pledged. For instance, she is planning to adopt the University Council’s recommendation that a sign be placed at the entrance to the Polak Building indicating which lecture rooms will be available for self-study at which times. Furthermore, a web page was established a little while ago informing students of which other spots are available for study purposes.

The Polak Building has been at maximum capacity ever since it was opened. In October, when people were frantically busy revising for their exams, students had to queue at the entrance to the building to get in. The building’s popularity is not just due to its beauty, but mainly to the closing of the University Library, leaving students in need of study spots with just the Polak Building and the G-Building (and, to a lesser extent, a few other buildings) to choose from.

ds de opening met grote drukte. In oktober, toen de tentamenstress het hoogst was, stonden er zelfs rijen voor de deur. De populariteit komt niet alleen doordat het zo’n mooi gebouw is, maar vooral de sluiting van de Universiteitsbibliotheek. Daardoor kunnen studenten nu eigenlijk alleen nog terecht in het Polakgebouw en het G-gebouw, en in beperkte mate in een paar andere gebouwen.

Small adjustments

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The University Council’s visit to the Polak Building did result in a few promises to improve the building in other respects. For instance, signs will be put up pointing students to the nearest printers and rubbish bins, and the lift, which has been out of action a lot due to malfunctions, will be closely monitored. In addition, Klarenbeek will see if something can be done about the wooden benches in the corridors, which the Councillors said are not very comfortable.