1. No rector
Emile Aarts did not stay on for a second term as rector magnificus after his four-year term ended on May 24th. With no successor in sight, his departure left Tilburg University rectorless during the summer months. It’s still unclear who will replace Aarts. The ceremonial duties that come with the rectorate—such as officially opening the academic year—have been taken over by professor Geert Duijsters until a new rector is appointed.
2. Homeless international students
Many of Tilburg University’s new international students spent the summer desperately looking for accommodation. Different initiatives sprung up to help homeless internationals—local political party CDA Tilburg encouraged Tilburgers with a spare room to open their homes, and international student organization I.S.A.T. set up a 25-day summer camp in the Spoorpark to give homeless students a tent over their heads. Meanwhile, the university came under criticism for accepting hundreds of new international students without providing sufficient housing.
3. Albert Heijn now open on Sundays
On a more positive note, the Albert Heijn along the Professor de Moorplein has extended its opening hours. The grocery store located on the edge of campus is now open for business on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The extended opening times are currently still being piloted. If the Albert Heijn attracts enough Sunday shoppers over the next few weeks, the store’s opening hours will continue to include Sundays.
4. New plans for an old campus building
The Prisma building, a once-temporary campus building that has been escaping demolition since the 1970s, was emptied this summer to transform the building’s office spaces into student rooms. Camelot Europe will use the vacant building as a temporary housing facility for international students. Prisma’s new tenants will be moving in mid-September.
5. Smoking ban
Tilburg University became a smoke-free zone over the summer. The smoking ban, which came into force on 15 August, prohibits all forms of smoking on campus grounds, including e-smoking. From now on, smokers have to step off campus property to light up. Not sure where that is? On the map below, the red lines mark the boundaries of Tilburg University’s private premises.