Last week Thursday, the 30th of September, it was finally time for the opening of the Student Residence. While students have been living in the Residence since last year, the official opening was postponed due to Covid. Until last Thursday!
The opening was celebrated with guests from the hospitality field, the municipality, the neighbourhood, the architects and constructors, the first year students, staff from HMSM and everyone else involved in realising our new campus.
First year student Britt Hovenier was the master of ceremonies during the festive afternoon. She started by inviting the three speakers to the stage. Up first was dean Ad Smits. “I am proud to present the creation of another icon on our campus and the restyling of its surrounding area (Park the Kanjel). The next step will be the new on-site building for our student association Amphitryon. I hope we can realise this by the end of 2022.”
Next was Matt Flipse. He is the area manager of Holland2Stay and alumnus of the Hotel School [F 2019]. Holland2Stay is the property management company that manages the Student Residences. In his speech, Matt looked back on the last couple of years and said, “If someone had told me two years ago I would be back here, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
The last speech was by Alderman Bert Jongen from the municipality of Maastricht. “At first it was difficult to find a link between the Hotel School and water. Until yesterday, when I saw the text ‘Home is where the Maas is’, written on the wall of the StayOkay Hostel in the city. If the Maas had not been here, the Romans would have never founded the city of Maastricht. Without Maastricht, there would have never been a Hotel School.”
After the speeches, it was time for the official opening ceremony. With it came a spectacular show, which students performed, where ‘water’ in the form of long organza fabric flowed from the units into the square. Where the previous Student Residence were named after local rivers in Limburg (the Geul, Kanjel, Jeker, and Maas), the new units are named after rivers from across the globe: the Colorado, the Ganges, the Yangtze, the Rhône, the Thames and so on. As Britt Hovenier said: “a great fit for our school and its international focus, and a way for international students to recognize a bit of home, which will hopefully result in feeling at home in Maastricht. In addition, a rivers flows, is dynamic and always on the move. That also reflects the culture of our school.”
To end the festive afternoon in fitting style, all guests were invited to take a look inside the units. Inside, the students of the units welcomed them and together they celebrated the opening with a drink & bite prepared by the students.
The new Student Residence has a capacity of 390 students, with 29 units that each houses 13 to 15 students. All students have their own room with a bed, desk, closet space and their own private bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. The living space comes with a shared living room area and a fully equipped kitchen. Situated in the main building of the Student Residence are the lobby, postal service, a multifunctional hang out area, a sports room and laundry area.
All pictures from the opening ceremony can be viewed here.
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