No culture on campus until autumn

| Michaela Nesvarova

As issued by the government this week, all public gatherings are prohibited until the 1st of June. This heavily influences the cultural events at the UT. All are being cancelled or rescheduled until autumn.

‘I’m still in a sort of a shock,’ says Tineke Grootenboer, coordinator of Culture & Events on campus. ‘I was expecting the measures to last until the start of May, but not June. Now we are forced to cancel or reschedule all performances and events. We prefer to reschedule what we can, that is better for everyone. For example, we’ve already moved the Pub Quiz and the Global Comedy Night until after the summer. Purchased tickets stay valid. If the person can’t use them, we will of course refund them.’

              ‘We need to think creatively, just online’

Grootenboer and her team are trying to keep culture alive even during the period of ‘social distancing’.  ‘We are sharing a lot online and on our social media,’ she says. ‘Every day we post a link to performances or museums people can visit digitally. We try to brighten up the social isolation and stay connected. We need to think creatively, just online.’

No performances in June either

Although the ‘ban’ on social gatherings is in place until the end of May, there most likely won’t be any cultural events organized in June either, says Pascalle Verlaan, chairperson of Apollo (cultural umbrella at the UT). ‘Student associations had performances scheduled for June, but they can’t rehearse which means that most of them have already decided to cancel. It’s not feasible for them to start a show after such a long break.’

Lectures moved to autumn

The new policy also means no Studium Generale (SG) lectures in the foreseeable future, informs Peter Timmerman, head of SG. ‘The situation affects us very much. We had to cancel our complete programme until the summer. We have invested a lot of time in getting interesting speakers and choosing the right topics, and so we are transferring a lot of the lecture to the next semester, asking speakers to come later.’

Studium Generale considered offering lectures online, but decided against it. ‘At our events, interaction with the audience is very important,’ says Timmerman. ‘That is why we don’t think this solution is suitable for us. We plan to resume our normal programme in autumn again. In the meantime, we are preparing the “best of Studium Generale”, our top ten, which we will share with people.’