Chicks and ufjes from Rotterdam

Delft students of mechanical engineering are called fietsenmakers (bike repairers), their colleagues from electrical engineering are vonkentrekkers (sparks), Leiden sorority girls are kipjes (chicks) while Utrecht’s girls are ufjes. But what are Rotterdam students called?
Wies Wapenaar, Rotterdam

We start off with an academic approach. So, we ask Nicoline van der Sijs, founder of and professor of Historic Linguistics at Radboud University. In general, most nicknames are funny and often slightly patronising, she says. Fine. But she doesn’t know of nicknames for Rotterdam students.

OK. So more enquiries outside academia. We go to Facebook. We ask current and former members of RSC and Laurentius. We consult Google. Still nothing! Hence: sorry, there are no nicknames for Rotterdam students. Which is odd, because people from Rotterdam love making up names, varying from the Koopgoot (shopping gutter) and De Kuip (the tub) to Kabouter Buttplug (gnome butt plug) and the Hoerenloper (whore hopper).

Apparently we like to use them for architecture rather than for people.

Swimming lessons on the campus

Why doesn’t EUR’s sports centre have a swimming pool? Twente, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Leiden and Nijmegen universities have one. I want to swim too!
Daphne Markwat, Spijkenisse

That’s easy to answer, says Erasmus Sport director Jon de Ruijter: it’s too expensive. Maintaining a swimming pool costs more money than it generates, so you don’t want to have too many. “And we’ve got lots of local municipal swimming pools, so we use those.” For example, water polo club Ragnar trains in the deep water of the Van Maanenbad, while swimmers train in the Oostelijk Zwembad. Students can also swim lengths in those swimming pools for a reduced rate. There are no plans to build a swimming pool at Woudestein. “This wouldn’t be financially viable. In Rotterdam we’re far too money conscious.”

The fact that other cities have a swimming pool on campus is pure coincidence. “We already had enough swimming pools here, so it was the other way round for them. In those cities schools have their swimming lessons on campus too.”

PS We do have a magnificent pond near the pavilion. But it’s not for diving