Even though students were shocked by the shooting that occurred at the Poelestraat last week, it won’t stop them from going out. ‘It feels like an isolated incident.’
Today, nothing in the Poelestraat shows that there was a shooting last week. People fill the café patios during the day and at night, students hop from pub to pub.
Twenty-year-old economics and business economics student Dilan Russchen was having a snack at the corner of the Oosterstraat and the Poelestraat when the first shot rang out. He’s grateful he got peckish at the right time. ‘If we hadn’t gone for a midnight snack, we could’ve been in the middle of it.’
He’s fairly laid back about the incident, though. ‘There’s always the risk of a fight breaking out or some lunatic pulling a knife’, says Dilan. ‘But we’re not letting it scare us away. We’ve almost all gone out again since.’
The people who work in the Poelestraat acknowledge this. ON Thursday September 14, the night after the shooting, the area was packed with revellers. ‘It’s almost like there was a party or something’, a staff member at a bar close to the shooting says.
The rush continued throughout the week and into this one. There are plenty of students, parties, and people having a good time. ‘Nothing much has changed, I don’t think the students care that much’, the staff member says.
Biomedical sciences master student Milan Post was shocked to hear about the shooting. ‘I didn’t know things like that could happen in Groningen.’
But it certainly hasn’t made him afraid to go out. ‘It feels more like an isolated incident, not something that will be happening more often’, he says. ‘I’m not worried that people will start shooting the next time I’m out.’
Most students living in the vicinity of the Poeleplein share this sentiment. Some of them heard the shots, while others saw it on the news the next day. ‘This could happen anywhere. It’s not great that it happened so close to home, but life goes on.’