Peizerweg Students: ‘Please Let Us Stay’

Abandoned as an infant high in the mountains of Colorado, James was taken in and raised by a family of marmots. They trained him in the art of satire, but warned him: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ He didn’t understand the truth of their words until his adopted rodent brother, Donald Trump’s hair, turned to the dark side.

James could only sit by and watch, helpless and appalled, as his evil brother meme’d his way to the White House. Forever changed by what he had seen, James fled to The Netherlands and vowed to always use his powers for good.

In the face of adversity, international students living at the Peizerweg hope to turn their temporary housing into a permanent home.

If the beginning of time was a few years ago, the RUG not having adequate housing for international students would be a tale as old as time.

It happens like this: the year begins with the opening of emergency housing facilities to deal with the completely unpredictable influx of students coming to Groningen to begin their studies, and after a few months those facilities close as the students who once inhabited them are sorted into their hovels.

That’s how it’s always been, and many say that’s how it should be, but this year, students at the Peizerweg are trying to change how the story ends.

‘We’re hoping to work out a deal with the administration’, said one student. ‘We know the building is needed for exams, but we think there’s enough room here for both desks and beds, plus we promise to be quiet.’

The general sentiment is that even if the temporary housing is a bit suboptimal, it’s preferable to navigating a real estate market that’s often actively hostile to international students.

‘I went to look at an apartment the other day’, said another student. ‘When the landlord found out I was an international he wouldn’t rent the place to me unless I swore loyalty to the Dutch King! Another time, a friend of mine noticed they’d added a ‘only allowed to eat Dutch food’ clause to her contract.’


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