- Campus , Student
TU/e stops supporting religious associations
Religious associations will no longer receive premises and financial resources from the university. In view of its 'secular nature', TU/e wishes to support only individuals in the expression of their faith. This review of assistance has been prompted by the relocation of associations to Potentiaal, where space for all the associations is in short supply.
Board member Jo van Ham explains the decision: “Our campus offers not only somewhere to study, but also plenty of space for homes, sport, daily life, culture, and the life of our associations. So naturally there should also be space within the TU/e community for contemplation and issues related to religion and different philosophies of life. That's part and parcel of our university.”
But whether TU/e should also facilitate religious associations is, says Van Ham, “another matter. We are a secular university and think we should make no distinction between religions and philosophies of life. Accordingly, we will cease providing support to religious associations in the form of premises and funding.”
Van Ham says that TU/e does not, on the other hand, wish to promote itself as a neutral university. “We won't be forbidding any expressions of faith and we will be supporting individuals by providing rooms. At present we have the Silence Room in Matrix and we also wish to create a room dedicated to life philosophies, for discussions and other activities.” This room will likely be in Potentiaal.
Ichthus, Emèt Qenee (C.S.F.R.) and VGSEI will receive no support, neither now nor in future. And ties with the Student Church will be cut, although T!NT, which is related to the Church, will receive support because it does not focus on any specific religion.
In any event, room-sharing is on the cards. In early 2017 many of the associations still housed in the Bunker will move to Potentiaal, currently being renovated, and that doesn't have enough rooms for all of them. This is one of the main reasons why TU/e is looking closely at the life of its associations today. The international associations and those dealing with life philosophies have already been assessed; greater clarity about the position of the other associations is expected in June.