The news of the week: 13-19 March

What's happening at the university? Afraid you missed anything? Here is your weekly update from 13 -  19 March.

RUG develops a storm protocol

thumb stormWhen the RUG cancelled classes on 5 December due to dangerous wind gusts, the decision brought chaos to the RUG and public transit alike. Huge crowds trying to get home overwhelmed the buses and trains.

To avoid confusion during severe weather, the RUG has developed a protocol called Weeralarm – Weather Alarm – to provide reliable information. A RUG emergency team will assess whether it’s safe for university buildings to remain open, better coordinate with public transportation, make decisions about rescheduling exams and determine if cantines should remain open longer for people who may not be able to get home.

Ten days left to submit Google refusal

thumb-GmailRUG employees who don’t want to switch to Google have until 27 March to submit an official objection. On 26 May, email accounts of all RUG students and staff will be transferred to Google.

Many RUG employees are not eager to effectively hand over their emails to American intelligence agencies like FBI and NSA who are known to monitor Gmail. Staff can submit a request with ‘reasonable objections’ to their faculty board or IT department. If approved, they can continue using their RUG-mail account for a year while a European alternative is sought.

University College tuition will cost €3,800

thumb-university-collegeStudents of the University College, beginning with its first class of 50 students in September, will be paying €3,800 for the privilege to attend.

That is €2,000 more expensive than the average RUG undergraduate’s tuition, but it is still hundreds of euros less than the University Colleges in Amsterdam (€3,900) and Utrecht (€4,200). The increased tuition will count for EU and non-EU students alike, but the costs of renting a room in the mandatory communal housing are not included in the price.

23-year-old robbed and tied up

thumb-politie-lintA 23-year-old man was robbed by three men and left tied to a chair in his home on the A-weg on Saturday afternoon. The suspects remain at large.

The victim, still tied up, managed to open the front door once the assailants left and passerby noticed him lying in the doorway. They untied him and called the police. He was not injured, but it is unclear what exactly happened in the house and what items were stolen. It is also unknown if the victim is a student, but his housemates are enrolled at the RUG.

Oxford and Cambridge to row in Groningen

thumb-wkroeienAlumni rowing teams from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge will participate in the first Bommen Boat Race in mid-June as part of the 400th anniversary festivities in Groningen. The University of Münster will also take part.

The Bommen Boat Race is modelled after the famous Boat Race on the river Thames which has been held since 1829. One of the races will be between the professors from Groningen and Münster. The race is planned to become an annual event, and next year it will be held on the Bommen Berend holiday on 28 August.