Moves on campus; a familiar phenomenon at the EUR. However, at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the move of student associations to a different building on campus in 2017 has had disastrous consequences. Because there is no room for all associations in the new building, the three religious associations will no longer receive any accommodations and financial support. This is what the Eindhoven university newspaper the Cursor reported.
Jo van Ham, executive board member, considers the decision logical, because the TU/e is ‘a secular university’. This is why the university does not consider it necessary to support religious organisations, an issue that has become current due to the move.
Due to its secular status, the university only facilitates the religious individual, Van Ham told the Cursor: “We are not going to prohibit any expression of faith and we will be supporting the individual by providing spaces.” For example, there already is a reflection centre on campus and according to Van Ham there probably will be an ideological area in the building where the other associations will be accommodated
A bolt from the blue
For the board of Ichtus, a large Christian student association in Eindhoven with more than eighty members, the decision is like a bolt from the blue. Secretary Paula Uittenbogaard is confounded. “We did not think that we were no longer going to receive any support for this reason. We were always given to understand that the university would be looking at the level of activity of an association and whether it fit into the academic climate. And now we are given to understand that it is because of our beliefs.”
In spite of the elimination of support, Ichtus is not going to be abolished any time soon according to Uittenbogaard. “We will have to look for another location and we want to continue talks with the TU/e.”