As I am writing this, the warmth-infused optimism and cheerfulness of our rare Indian Summer has converted over the course of a few hazy party nights into an eerie, gloomy quiet experienced only by the unfortunate souls who (like me) are stuck on campus during the break. Spending my days between fervidly pounding my keyboard in an attempt to write my thesis and browsing through old issues of the Boomerang as a form of procrastination, I find myself trying to balance my insistence to make the Boomerang great again (although it must be paradoxically noted that obviously, the Boomerang has always been great) and not trying to take myself too seriously (ha!).
You may have noticed that the issue in your hand right now is somewhat thinner than usual. Have we finally realised nobody reads the Boomerang anyways – so better save on printing costs? No – none of that. In fact, issues ran out quicker than ever last month. Besides bringing you less articles, our editorial board, writers and editors have worked relentlessly to primarily bring you better articles (something along the lines of “quality over quantity”).
Hold up – before I explain myself further, a short intermezzo of shameless self-promotion. We are proud and utterly excited to announce that on the 22nd of November, we will have a special guest from the Dutch independent news platform De Correspondent, Marc Chavannes, coming to campus to tell you all about the future of independent journalism. Save the date!
Now on to the content of this issue. The debate on socioeconomic diversity on campus has surfaced repeatedly in the past. While UCU continues to advocate that “diversity is a central feature” of its educational ideology, change does not appear to be forthcoming. Why, when we look around us, do we primarily see white, (upper)-middle class students? And what can be done to improve it?
Related to the issue of socioeconomic diversity on campus is Dining Hall’s decision to discontinue the employment of all students at the start of this semester, limiting the opportunity of internationals to support themselves throughout their education at UCU. Merel Blok questions this decision, and reflects on the position of both the Dining Hall management and aggrieved students.
Continuing on the topic of diversity, with our brand new Queer Column we hope to shed light on issues of gender and sexuality on our campus. In this issue, Lotte Wolff relates her experience with coming out and queer culture at UCU. Does our highly accepting environment facilitate the coming out process? Or does labelling continue to restrict students who are exploring their sexuality?
We also delve into the history of UCU, tracing back both the UCSA and Dining Hall to its early beginnings. Beyond that, you will find passionate pleas on politics in the US, Catalonia’s struggle for independence and Putin’s domestic and international politics; riveting reviews covering the Rietveld-Schröder house (the one down the road!), the Dutch Film Festival, and a Banksy art exhibition; we relate the story of Nabil Nabo, a UCU student and translator who fled his home in Syria two years ago; we bring back the beloved beer review; and finally, Sara Schneemann uncovers the story behind the ice cream we all love in an interview with the owner of Vorst. Now go yonder, and explore!
Fleur Zantvoort, Editor-in-Chief