Every day, the editorial staff at the UK wonders: What are we writing about, why are we writing about it, and how are we writing about it? A weekly look behind the scenes.
The UK already has one illustrious columnist: Gerrit Breeuwsma, who shines a light on the wondrous and strange world of the university every other week. His columns are in turn proud, scornful and admiring, and always with a healthy dose of self-deprecation (quoting his son: ‘My dad drinks nothing but wine, he’s an alcoholic!’), but never going full-blown grumpy (‘I won’t go to Yantai because the wine is too expensive!’). ‘Never get too worked up about things’, my grandmother would always say, blissfully. That seems to Breeuwsma’s philosophy, as well.
With that in mind, I mean no offence when I say that we felt that the student point of view was missing. Someone who can view the university community with the same admiration and awareness, someone who can express themselves with a similar lack of bitterness, but someone who does all that with a (sorry, Gerrit…) younger perspective.
That is what we have been searching for over the past few weeks. And we found it. Soon, two new student columnists will be joining us: one Dutch student and one foreign student, both of whom bring their own sense of style and an unorthodox point-of-view. They will be making their formal debut in the coming days, but here’s a short introduction.
… is a physics student. Wouter combines his physics skills and his language skills. How? We’re not entirely sure, but the age of miracles has evidently not yet passed. On top of all that, he’s a fine draughts player. That’s good to know (or not), but above all else, he’s a great writer (anyhow).
… …is taking the road less travelled by. James is from the state of Colorado, and is experiencing student life in Groningen in his own way. His columns feel like Monty Python sketches: often puzzling and absurd. Did whatever he’s writing about actually happen? You never know, because nothing is what it seems. You can’t make heads or tails of it – or maybe you can. It doesn’t bother James either way.
Columnists have an open assignment. The only restriction is to make sure that the columns (more or less) are reflections on the RUG, student life and/or the city of Groningen.
As long as they meet that requirement, they are welcome – and encouraged – to let loose: tirelessly, surprisingly, happily, marvellously.
Rob Siebelink, editor-in-chief