The terraces are incredibly important for the recruitment of new members, say the associations. It appears from the answers to council questions that the municipality is not making any exceptions to the coronavirus legislation, however. This will make it hard for associations to create the terraces they are used to having during Eurekaweek. Most associations don’t have any terraces during the rest of the year and therefore usually request an event license for during the Eurekaweek. Those licenses are currently not being issued anywhere in the country because of the coronavirus.

'Far too small'

What is allowed: a so-called ‘facade terrace’ (‘gevelterras’ in Dutch). “We view student associations as hospitality establishments”, says the spokesperson of alderman Said Kasmi (Education). “Hospitality establishments may have a facade terrace without this being included in their licenses. There are certain exceptions, however. A facade terrace means that tables and chairs may be placed along the width of the building. That terrace may usually be three metres in depth, but there should still be enough passage space on the pavement.” Rotterdam is giving entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector permission to double their facade terraces in size. That means: “A maximum of six metres in depth.”

SSR chair Jelle Mooij was already aware of that. “It’s a good thing and we will definitely be making use of it. However, it does not solve the space issue when you compare this to the terrace we usually construct. The proposed facade terrace is far too small for us to be able to properly receive first-years.”

The terrace on Eendrachtsplein of student association NSR in 2019. Image credit: Amber Leijen

Moreover, the given answers to the questions posed by D66 seem to indicate that association house that want to provide bedding for multiple first-year participants in the Eurekaweek will need to request permission from Safety Region Rotterdam-Rijnmond. According to the municipality, this is standard policy that has nothing to do with the emergency ordinance for the coronavirus. This has an impact on student association NSR, for instance. They wanted to accommodate students in association houses.

'Staying-over regulation is excessive'

In response to the alderman’s questions, councillor Elene Walgenbach (D66) has requested a council debate for Thursday. “I hope the municipality will be able to provide some clarity for the associations and that they will do their utmost to facilitate the associations. With regards to the staying-over regulation: it is excessive. I have a visitor who wants to stay the night, I don’t have to ask an approval of the Safety Region either. I also hope the municipality will allow for proper terraces. The prime minister’s press conference this evening might also change matters, however. We will just have to wait and see.”


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