Campus catering facilities closed again

Once again, all catering establishments in the Netherlands are closed due to the corona crisis, and therefore De Zwarte Doos and Hubble had to close their doors as well. How do they keep their spirits up?

photo Felipe Carboni

The first response to the cabinet’s tightened corona measures was “really fed up,” but not long after that, on the following Thursday already, the board of Hubble Community Café started to work hard to come up with a program “that will help keep the community together.” Xaveria Vossen, chairwomen of Hubble, says that this is the most important goal for now. “Students still live on campus and still come here to study, and we want to offer them something.”

One of the plans is to start a takeaway service as of next Monday. “Our chefs are full of ideas and there is time now to try all kinds of things. How things will pan out exactly also depends on the wishes of the people on the campus.” Hubble has been delivering more and more hot meals lately, Vossen says. “Our daily meals are freshly prepared daily and cost no more than 5.50 euros.” Vossen can’t say at this point whether orders can only be placed online, or at the door as well. “Whether grab to eat is allowed and possible is still being considered.”

Hubble recently purchased a delivery bicycle, in the first place for use during the Intro. It hasn’t been completely assembled yet, let alone varnished, “but there is time for that now. Who knows, we might use it for some playful activities.” An online alternative also still needs to be found for the board’s drinking gatherings, during which Hubble brought together previous boards from all affiliated associations.


“We will also use our energy to support the community and to organize online events. We are currently discussing this with the associations, and we also ask them what possibilities they see in the coming period,” Vossen continues. One example of an event Hubble will organize soon, is a beer tasting. Participants can collect a beer package in advance, to be poured at home, while Hubble offers them the chance to virtually share their taste sensations.

Vossen is “very positive” about the future, even though she fears that the closure will last longer than four weeks. “We’ve shown this summer already that this won’t get us down. And, like our manager Peter Joosten says, ‘If it can’t be done the way it should, then it shall be done the way it can.’ We’ll find a way to make something out of it.”

Zwarte Doos

It’s Thursday morning and Christian Verhoeven, catering manager of De Zwarte Doos, is cleaning up in his Grand Café. “We don’t have to throw out that much fresh food, we saw it coming for some time,” Verhoeven says. “It had already gotten quieter these last few weeks after a reasonable period at the start of the academic year. We saw that TU/e employees started to work from home more often again. It hurts that we now have to close our doors once more. But still, safety above all else. We are affected by a national measure.” Verhoeven, too, will investigate whether takeaway is a possibility, with simple meals that will be delivered on the campus for free. “We’re still motivated,” Verhoeven says, and he hopes to start working hard again with much enthusiasm once safety allows it. “We’ve already practiced a restart.”


The canteen of the Student Sport Centre will now follow the measures that apply to catering facilities. The canteens in Helix and Gemini will close because of a too small clientele, but those in Atlas and MetaForum will remain open. It’s also still possible to get food in Atlas at Brownies&downieS. There are two reasons for this, says brand manager Pien Schepens. “We think it’s important that our employees can continue this work during the day instead of having to sit at home. They enjoy working here. And we remain open so that students and employees can come and have something nice to eat here.”

Movie theatre

The closure of De Zwarte Doos also means that the SG movies will be cancelled. “Too bad, but understandable that it won’t be possible any more to offer movies in the coming weeks,” says head of SG Lucas Asselbergs. “We would have liked to continue with some offline culture in these dire times of corona, but the crisis team doesn’t want people to assemble on the campus anymore when it’s not absolutely necessary. I understand that.” In early October, Asselbergs already said that other solutions will be sought should the film theatre close its doors. One possible option is to offer movies in movie theatre Natlab.

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