The Zorgacademie’s coffee vending machines in Erasmus MC, removed a few weeks ago, won’t be back any time soon. Medical students looking forward to a free cup of coffee between lectures are now left empty handed.

The machines used to be located in a fairly large space with sofas, just a few minutes’ walk from Erasmus MC’s lecture rooms and Education Centre. Due to its favourable location, it used to attract many students, who would queue in front of the coffee machines, particularly during breaks in between lectures.

The large demand for coffee often caused problems. The supply of coffee often ran out and plastic cups filled with murky water would then collect around the machines. As far as the Academy is concerned, all that is now a thing of the past.

Litter and puddles of coffee on the floor

The coffee machines in question were never intended for students, they were meant for the Zorgacademie’s employees. However, it proved to be hard to distinguish between the employees on the one hand and the students on the other. According to the Health Care Academy, medical students were a bit of a nuisance on its premises.

Students allegedly ruined a couch and Zorgacademie employees encountered large amounts of litter and puddles of coffee around the coffee machines. Some students even tried to get coffee from the Academy’s teachers’ room, EM was told by Hester van Vugt, a Zorgacademie secretary.

Unknown culprits

“Maybe we’ll never be able to prove that it was medical students who caused all the trouble,” said Van Vugt, qualifying her previous statement. “The room with the coffee machines was intended to be used for business meetings, but due to the number of people in the room and the associated problems, we were unable to use the room for that purpose,” she added. However, it is impossible to identify the culprits. “And so good people will have to pay for bad people’s mistakes,” Van Vugt said in conclusion.

Needless to say, the students are disappointed. “Universities are supposed to create an environment conducive to studying, and those free coffee machines were part of the Faculty’s facilities,” said Jaap Schulte, a third-year medical student. “They were also an extra incentive to go the Medical Library to study and they were a unique feature of the Education Centre. That’s why it’s a pity they’re gone.”

In the meantime an extra free coffee vending machine has appeared at the faculty. Meanwhile, the room at the Zorgacademie where previously long queues of students stood waiting is now unusually quiet, and as a result, it can now be used for business meetings and consultations.