“It is a superfluous solution for a non-existent problem” so said Quirijn Korthals Altes, at the time, as president of the RSC in ’80-’81 on its thirteenth anniversary. A merger between the two corpora in Rotterdam; the spirit of the time was not right for it. Something Pauline van der Meer Mohr, former President of the Board of the Erasmus University and president of the RVSV at the time, confirms: “It was unthinkable.”

Times change. In a letter to its members last December, both corpora announced the merger. According to the committee members and the president currently in charge, this is the next logical step. With the participation of the members, they are making the plans more concrete. To date, there has been little disquiet about the merger among the members. But what do the former-members think about the student association of which they were a member, disappearing?

“Of course, traditions will be lost” so says chairman of the former-members association Hermes, Jaap Tick. Van der Meer Mohr endorses this and adds: “But that is not a problem, as traditions are never static or everlasting.” Tick gives an example of this. During the time he was president, the RSC moved – ‘yes, I am that old’ – from De Eendrachtsweg to its current premises. “With this move, some conventions were lost, but new ones took their place.”

‘New old-members association for the future sixth-years'

A merger of former-members associations is currently not on the cards. “We thought about it but it would feel forced to continue together whilst we have not been members of the same association. We are however going to better inform each other about our activities,” so says Tick. And what will happen to members who will become former members of the merged association in the future? Stefanie Witte, chair of the Former RVSV Members Association, explains: “The plan is to form a new former-members association for those who will become sixth-years (former members, ed.) in the future.”

The majority of former-members are positive about the merger. “It is in keeping with the times”, says Witte, “it is a logical step in a direction already taken for a couple of years.” The associations are working ever closer together, something the former-members are aware of. And mixed activities are very well attended.

‘Merger was first item on agenda for new committees’

In the past years, the merger has been an important issue. Vincent Karremans, who seven years ago was still the president of the RSC: “It is the first item on the agenda when a new committee is installed. Each year, the new committee takes a step towards closer collaboration. This also happened in my year. “In our committee year, we made then unmixed Thursday night, mixed.”

In the circle of acquaintances of the former-members they are also, bar a few, very much in favour of the developments. “They are more than happy that the association is setting its own course,” says Van der Meer Mohr. Recently, Korthals Altes had dinner with around one hundred former members of the RSC. The merger was also discussed. “No expressions of discord were heard at all: everyone is fully behind it.”