Municipal council dinner strengthens bond between politicians and students

There are many advantages to good contact between the municipal council and students, according to student faction DAS. At the initiative of faction chair Maud Kunkels, a municipal council dinner was organized for the first time on Monday. Plat du jour, E.S.C’s cooking committee, provided a four-course dinner, funded by Stehven. DAS hopes the municipal council dinner will turn into a tradition.

photo Levi Baruch

Twelve council members from seven political parties and nearly thirty students from various associations are seated at three long tables in the Eindhoven Student Corps’ association club. The idea is that they will talk together about issues affecting students. Talking cards have been placed on the tables with topics such as housing, energy prices, the campus’ role in the city and the contribution students can make to a vibrant city center. “But”, Maud Kunkels says during her opening speech, “small talk is also encouraged, because that’s also a great way to strengthen the bond between politicians and students.”

The cards proved an unnecessary luxury. Everyone who came tonight is interested in what the other person has to say, and questions fly across the tables. During the appetizer – tomato tartare with a garnish of onions, pickles and three pieces of crostini – the discussion centers around housing and the image of Eindhoven. How do you find a place to live as a student? Do you want to continue living in Eindhoven after you graduate? How much time goes into a side job as a council member? And... what is the new mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem really like?


After the entremets – a strawberry spoom – participants swap places to engage with other conversation partners. While eating orzo with ratatouille and feta, Irene van der Burgt, a board member at SSRE, explains how she deals with her workload. She is a fifth-year Psychology & Technology student and in addition to serving on the board, she will complete her bachelor’s degree this year. “I fell behind due to a concussion. But I know now that it’s important to be intrinsically motivated for what you do. It’s now possible to take a board course at TU/e, which I would have loved to do, but unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into my curriculum.”

After dessert, ice cream with warm cherries, co-organizers Julius Wildenburg and Thomas Koot express that they think this first municipal council dinner, “in which valuable contacts were established and visions were shared”, is definitely worth repeating. And they invite every attendee to have drinks afterwards in the Representation Room at SSRE.

SSRE bar

There, Milja van Rooijen, third-year student and Demos member, says she came to offer her input on improving ‘Eindhoven as a student city’. “It was nice talk to the municipal council members together with other associations. We talked about the opening hours of cafes on Stratumseind and student housing in combination with the increasing number of internationals. The VVD council member told me that as a student, he was so happy to be able to live in his own studio. I told him that for me, as a young person, having moved from Hilversum by myself, it’s nice to live in a student house in Eindhoven where I can eat together with other people.”

Do you also want to organize an event and could you use some help? If so, please contact Stehven.

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