It seems very likely that Rotterdam’s fraternity and sorority, which are traditionally gender-segregated, will stop being single-sex societies. RSC and RVSV are drawing up concrete plans for a merger. As soon as the plans have been finalised, the societies’ members will vote on them.

This and next month, the two societies will be organising several workshops during which members will be able to share their input on the impending merger. The first workshop was held last week. “In general, the members welcomed the idea. The plan is to retain the segregated aspects of both societies, such as gender-segregated club-owned houses and matriculation year clubs, to the utmost extent,” said Henriette Claus, the President of the RVSV sorority.

“Not a bolt from the blue”

Rumours about the impending merger of RSC and RVSV had been doing the rounds for a while. “It’s not as if this is a bolt from the blue. We have been discussing a merger for years,” said Ewout Ketelaars, the President of the RSC fraternity, putting the proposal into perspective. Last December, the boards and committees of RSC and RVSV made their decision and wrote a letter to their members, to the effect that “the future lies in a joint society”.

Claus noted that many club members had been inclined to a mixed society for a while and that a merger was therefore only to be expected. “Our joint activities attract much greater crowds than our separate activities. Besides, we have shared the same building ever since 1973.”

Merger is not financially motivated

For his part, Ketelaars emphasised that the proposed merger was not financially motivated, but had different reasons. “By joining forces, we will be able to achieve more: a richer club life, a different dynamic and greater diversity,” he said. To which Claus added, “Think, for instance, of activities organised during the day, rather than at night only.” In addition, the societies wish to renovate the building they share. “Together we will be better able to tackle this in the right manner,” Claus believes.

As soon as the concrete plan has been finalised, the two societies’ committees and senates will consult their members in their annual general meetings. The two presidents are unsure as yet when this will be. However, Ketelaars intends to arrange the merger in the current academic year. Both presidents are optimistic about the outcome of the vote.

Facebook page against the merger

A Facebook page against the merger, called “Vote against the RVSV-RSC merger”, was established a little while ago. It has received over 100 likes by now, yet the two societies’ presidents remain unimpressed. Ketelaars calls the page “a joke that got out of hand”, whereas Claus explained that the page was established by former members. “Their opinion and support is important, but it is up to the current generation to decide on the society’s future.”