Dante’s new furniture is necessary

University College Tilburg (at the moment still called Liberal Arts & Sciences) will start in September 2016. The furniture in Dante building is now being replaced.In the first floor corridors of the Dante building, you could find a bunch of cramped computer desks. Recently, they have been replaced by comfortable couches. The computers have disappeared, and there are empty spaces and red-white tape.In Tilburg University’s real estate plans, Dante is divested in 2025. By that time, the University College will have to move. Why redecorate everything now? Dean Alkeline van Lenning explains: “The UCT will house in Dante for some years, and there are plans for after that period.” The building needed maintenance (furniture, carpeting, walls): “We did this all at the same time now, so it will all be in one style.”

Students think it is a shame that the useful computer desks are gone, they share on, for example, Facebook. Ayrton van Noort is sitting in the Willem Witteveen Common room, with his laptop. “There will be computers available again, I heard,” he says. “But I do not know anything else about it.”

Witteveen Common Room
What about this room? There once was a sign on the door saying ‘Liberal Arts students only’. Law students got sent away sometimes, for example. Ayrton says: “Before, you could send people away, because there was a plaque hanging here. Now that it is gone, it would be weird to dismiss people. I think the room is for everybody now.”Dean Van Lenning says that the room is still meant for Liberal Arts and Sciences students. She speaks about a ‘living room’ that is used for meetings, to work on assignments, or for activities organised by professors or study association Extra Muros.

The room can only be reserved for LAS purposes. Van Lenning: “the community aspect is important for programs like this. The whole idea of a ‘common room’ would vanish if the room would be used for activities from outside Liberal Arts and Sciences.”

The room is not locked. Other students can work there if they want to. The coffee machine was even moved into the room, from the hallway. According to Van Lenning, this policy works: “Since most of the lectures from the LAS program are scheduled in Dante, the room is always filled with students and activities. So the purpose of the room becomes clear automatically.”

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