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The academic year starts on Monday, but no activities can continue in the party rooms of Fort VI for the time being because no drinks are allowed to be served yet. “I find it unimaginable,” says Chemistry student Christine Vantomme, who was president of a student association last year. “I am very concerned about student life and the difficult cooperation with the University of Antwerp. Was this a conscious action? Because how can a university make such major administrative blunders? The corona period was already so difficult, we were promised that we could party again this academic year. But that will not be possible before October 10.”
Messages are circulating on Facebook from the associations that have already had to cancel cantuses. DIEFKA, the Faculty Association of Veterinary Medicine, posted that they were not informed until around 4 pm on Friday that their cantus could not take place. “We are forcibly requesting everyone to stay away from Fort VI. We have confirmation from the city that security is present all evening and keeps a close eye on everything. If alcohol is consumed in groups, there will be no liquor license for the next one or two months.” The message is signed by ‘a very sad presidency’.
The transfer scantus of Fabiant, the student association for students of biology and environmental sciences, which was scheduled for Sunday, cannot take place either. “Our apologies to the people who felt like it and also to the baazak who had even taken a day off for this.”
Works were delayed
The university confirms that the liquor license is not yet in place. “That will be in order by October 10 at the latest. We understand the disappointment of the students, but tens of thousands of euros have been invested in preparing the banquet halls in the fort (Konijnen Pijp, Hagar and De Spoed) and a nearby scouts room for cantuses and TDs (in the scouts room). Unfortunately, that work has been delayed,” says Peter De Meyer of the University of Antwerp. “The infrastructure department of the university also had a hellish summer with the settlement of the fire in the City Campus. The work in the banquet halls is almost complete, but everything has to be cleaned up and cleaned up before a city service can come and check for the granting of the liquor license. That last hurdle is quickly overcome, so we ask the students to be patient.”
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The banquet halls have been closed for about a year and a half, first because of corona and afterwards because it turned out to be impossible to bring them into line with the legal standards for air quality. Last year a Spiegeltent was placed to party, but that was a temporary solution for one academic year.
New party location
In 2024 there will be a large new party location on Campus Drie Eiken, together with a new sports hall, restaurant and café. “We made this summer’s investment to bridge that period, because we think it is important for the well-being of the students that the students can party”, emphasizes Peter De Meyer. “By the way, there is already a big party on Campus Drie Eiken on Mondays, because you don’t need a liquor license for a one-off activity. There is also a party on Sint-Jansplein on Monday afternoon. Thursday is StuDay in town, so luckily there are a few other options for partying. We also hope that it will be sorted out as soon as possible.”