Speak up! Or let’s ban all students from Metaforum

4.30 p.m., Metaforum floor 0
My focus has been lost for almost half an hour now and I put away my study materials. A colleague drops by and I ask him for possible topics for this week’s blog. “Uhhh, agh, maybe something about having good intentions for 2017 related to professional skills? Although it’s not catchy or original..?” We had a chat for some minutes, went off-topic and discussed the news that students of other institutions might not be welcome in the library anymore during exam weeks.

Just before the holidays came the message of the ironic ‘Christmas gift’ that a trial would be launched to ban non-TU/e students from Metaforum floor 0 and -1 during the (pre) exam weeks. The reason for this trial is over-crowdedness and noise (source). The key question for me regarding this news: is this measure problem-solving? Okay, first, the over-crowdedness. This measure might indeed solve the over-crowdedness partly, because less people will have access to the library. No rocket-science there. However, the second part is more disputable.

First, in favor of the new measurement. Less people will have access to the Metaforum building and therefore it is possible that there will be less noise. And okay, it has happened that I was annoyed by my Metaforum-neighbor with a law book, or even a high-school mathematics book. But it has occurred to me that I was also distracted by people who obviously study at the TU/e. In fact, at the moment my neighbors are chatting so loud that I can hear it through my music (and I think this gaming topic is quite typical for TU/e students). Is this noise a chain reaction caused by non-TU/e student? It might be. We will find out during the next weeks. But in fact I think there is a better solution to this problem.

Apparently, there has been a lot of discussion about this topic. Resulting in a trial period that will be launched. But isn’t this a sign of lack of skills of the students studying at Metaforum? It is rare that someone corrects someone on his or her annoying behavior. And even if people correct someone, it might already have taken so long that the confrontation comes with an explosion of emotions. Is it that hard to just correct someone on his behavior? In my opinion, it is way easier than realizing a trial period at an organization like the university.

Okay, this reminds me of a quote at a workshop in the previous quartile: “Those things are fairly simple, but not easy”. I totally agree! It is very hard to correct someone on his behavior, but why won’t you put effort in becoming better at it? Few people are born with the ability to do this correctly and have the guts to put words into action. Luckily, there are a lot of initiatives at TU/e supporting the development of those skills. Doing a committee at your study association or a board year at any association might help. But even workshops are being organized to help you develop yourselves on these parts. I would advise to at least have a look and try it out. Next to the experience you gain, it might also solve this – apparently – major problem.

So, if you are studying at Metaforum in the coming weeks and are being disturbed: think about what you can do directly and try to make this change yourself. No matter whether those people are TU/e or non-TU/e students.


Roeland Hoefnagels 
Guild Leader Teamwork