VOX Delft board positions for next year!

VOX is looking for new board members for the academic year of 2015-2016. And since I advise the board, that means I’m looking too.

SG wants to further the amazing ability of VOX Delft to call together socially-minded thinkers. They are always open to new ideas and freely experiment with the challenge of bringing diverse people in Delft together. All nationalities, all kinds of cultural backgrounds, students of all ages coming together to discuss ideas, events, technology, and ideology, no matter how far out. VOX is unique in Delft, and it’s hard to put into words. We had some video shot earlier this year, without audio, to give an idea of what VOX discussions look like at least. I challenge you to sit through it all and wonder what these people were talking about ūüėõ


Who is it for?

Any student can apply, Dutch or international, bachelor or master, engineer or Industrial Designer (bad joke). Do you spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about the world? Are you creative, critical, cynical, or devoted to exploring truth and reality? Maybe a little stubborn but also open to hearing other people’s craziest ideas? Definitely give the VOX board a heads up if you’re interested.

The board meets at least once a week to set up, prepare and evaluate the goings on of their weekly activities.
This includes playing with the established formats and inventing new ones,
spreading the word that VOX and its events exist, both physically and digitally,
seeking out expert voices and source material to anchor a discussion. The board is assisted by Studium Generale and usually meets in my office in the Library.

What does the board do?

Board duties include moderating a discussion when necessary, to ensure an open and creative talk.
Towing the line between expressive freedom, hierarchy, and structure.
Defining the vision and plan for VOX for the coming year.
Managing finances, keeping a schedule for the year and booking locations.
Buying food and drinks for the discussions.
Working with an international (and local) team, bridging cultures and concepts.
Collaborating with other associations.
Writing or blogging about interesting topics and conversations.
And generally spreading the word about VOX, so that we can “find the others” in Delft.
Expect to be involved anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a week, including the weekly events.

What do you get out of it?

The VOX board is the most laid back and dynamic board I know, and I’ve seen quite a few boards and associations over the past few years in Delft. This is an opportunity to learn leadership and organization skills, and what it takes to make sure that none of your fellow thinkers have to do their thinking alone. You get to create and manage a home for all the great minds on campus that aren’t fully satisfied with the college experience of beer, money trouble, and exams. That’s pretty special.

Finally, through SG, you can get financially reimbursed in the form of RAS-months. $$

Send your applications and/or questions to Leroy at info@voxdelft.com
check out facebook.com/groups/voxdelft

Green Guide Delft

Delft has a small but dedicated group of students who are taking matters into their own hands to save the environment. The Sustainability Community is creating a network and spreading information and awareness on sustainability, ecology, and green initiatives on campus, in Delft, and around the globe.

During the International Festival of Technology they launched the Green Guide Delft, available here in PDF form, which gives an overview of all the initiatives, organizations, shops, and some practical tips to live as green as possible in Delft.

Green Guide Delft

Green Guide Delft-8

Green Guide Delft-1


Vacancies on the board of Ecolution

Looking to do something meaningful in Delft?

Ecolution is an important student association, working to increase practical knowledge and awareness about environmental issues and solutions. And they need new board members for the coming year.

Read their call below and go to their website to find out more.

Ecolution Logo_square_green

Ecolution calls for new members!
Are you interested in matters of sustainability and circular economy?
Do you enjoy bringing people from different backgrounds together and trigger constructive discussions?
Are you , then, coincidentally looking for a student job at the TU Delft for the next year?
Because Ecolution has vacancies for new board members starting 30th of May!

Ecolution went through quite some re-arrangements. Now under the Centre for Sustainability, we want to bridge the gap between the three universities TU Delft, Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam.
So many different disciplines, all necessary to contribute to our global challenges. However, this can only work if we join knowledge and forces. Through interdisciplinary field trips, workshops and other events between the universities we want to offer opportunities to meet and exchange knowledge, experience and opinions.
Thus, we are looking for active people that are interested in and care about interdisciplinary topics and discussions who want to engage in the preparation and coordination of activities between the universities (approximately 10 hours per week) for a full year.
If you are interested in the position, please send your Motivation Letter (500 words on why you want to be part of Ecolution and how you can contribute) and CV (one page with relevant information) to: ecolution@tudelft.nl. The deadline of the applications is the 18th of May. Be prepared for a talk in the week after. We are looking for people that are available for a start on the 30th of May!


“Will it help us in the sustainability rankings?”

Last week the TU Delft Sustainability Community hosted a lunch lecture on how sustainable the TU Delft campus is. After all, the university talks the talk, but do they walk the walk?

From the data presented by Industrial Ecology student Siebe Trompert it became clear that the TU Delft has a long way to go in improving its practices in energy use, emissions, and building occupancy (1/3rd of buildings are vacant but still heated!?), while water usage on the other hand scored pretty high. There were a bunch of 5’s, 6’s and one 7 in there, but of the eight different themes that were scored, none were overwhelmingly spectacular. The framework developed by Siebe and his colleagues to gather and frame the data into scores from 1-10 seemed pretty solid, but they still need more data to complete the overview. And of course they want it to be reproduced every year, so we can see if and how the TU Delft improves itself. (Please add to the data yourself by filling out their student+staff survey).

After Siebe’s presentation, Mart Lubben, chairman of the national student sustainability organization ‚ÄėStudenten voor Morgen explained the “Sustainabul” ranking system through which Dutch universities are scored on their sustainability. Out of around 20 participating universities, ours scored very near the bottom. Ouch.

Luckily, this wake up call did not fall on deaf ears.

Two elderly gentlemen were present in the crowd and said they were heading up a new outfit at the TU Delft that will monitor and introduce new measures for making the campus more sustainable (Sustainability Manager?). Great move!
It just seems a shame that their first question to the speakers was, “Will following this framework for sustainability scores get us higher up in the ranking?” Asking whether the framework will actually make the university more sustainable in its practices would seem like a less cynical way of going about improving the university. But those are the signs of the times.


4 months of SG Academy and nobody’s lost their mind yet

After the first four months and 16 episodes I think we can safely say that the SG Academy has graduated from its trial period!


People get together and talk. They exchange information and opinions on certain subjects. There’s really nothing more fancy to it than that, but it works and it’s fun.

For a brief overview of the topics we’ve had and sources we’ve used so far, check out this pdf. Some of the highlights, which had seemingly nothing to do with the intended topics, include discussions about cannibalism, the (im)morality of first degree murder of other people in a lucid dream, and the theory that the entire universe is a simulation. And yet nobody’s lost their mind, yet.

Here’s a few quotes from participants so far, hopefully they can give you a better picture of what it’s about than I can:

“Personally I think that we as students should be able to talk openly about all kinds of philosophical subjects. Usually there’s a barrier to participating in such a discussion, especially if people think they don’t have enough knowledge about the topic. At the SG Academy I feel that all our opinions are accepted and that there is genuine interest in talking about them.
I recommend the SG Academy to broaden your horizon and feed your curiosity, while you’re sitting in the Matrix chair!”
– Setareh

“I’ve learned a lot and have been able to adjust my own opinions here and there. And as the slogan says, Anything Goes!”
– Cor

Eye in the triangle

Are We Missing the Big Picture in Delft?

How much time in your academic career have you spent discussing, debating, or explaining your own worldview with other students or staff? Had any fights, or perhaps breakthroughs because of it? To clarify, by worldview I mean your religion if you’re religious; your personal philosophy if you’re an atheist or agnostic; and in general, your ideology. The framework through which you think about the world, your place in it, right and wrong, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. You know; the big picture.


My guess is, not much time. At least, not in an institutional setting.

Which is why SG, together with students from half a dozen associations in Delft, has come up with a setting to discuss exactly that. The big picture. The following are the questions we intend to ask a small and diverse panel of students, recent graduates, and PhD candidates, during lunchtime discussion sessions for an open audience.

Worldview. What is your worldview? What effect has your worldview had on you as an engineer, and vice versa, what effect has your engineering education had on it?

Research/Work. Why are you doing what you are doing? How does your work fit in your worldview or ethics? Do you discuss the bigger implications and ethics of your work with people from different backgrounds? What are the consequences of that?

Freedom of expression and open discussion at the university. Are we missing the big picture in Delft? Are we doing enough to discuss worldviews critically and openly? (What is the purpose of the university, just to pump out able engineers or is there more?)

What we need to do now is to get a list of possible speakers together. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, atheists, agnostics, Baha’i, Sikhs, Satanists, materialists, philosophical engineers, you name it; a diverse group of young Delft engineers, preferably with some work or research experience.

I’m hoping that you can help out here, and look around if you know someone that we should invite. The main criteria are their age category (youngish, no older than say 32), and whether or not they are outspoken on the issue of worldviews, religions, or personal philosophy. If you have any tips or suggestions, please mail Klaas at k.p.vandertempel@tudelft.nl.

Once we have a good and diverse list together we’ll set a date for the first discussion and invite our speakers.

The TU Delta international section is going to devote a few pages to this topic as well. They’re publishing an article near the end of February on freedom of religion and freedom of expression at the TU Delft, so keep your eyes open for it.

Getekend: Repetities

Na succesvolle auditiedagen en een lang, en zwaar beraad waren Reinier Noordzij en Albert van Andel eruit: de acteurs voor de tekstrollen waren gekozen! Negen studenten en één docent kunnen zich gaan voorbereiden op hun rollen in de productie.

Op maandag 9 februari was de allereerste echte repetitie! Het script van Reinier werd goed ontvangen. Tijdens deze repetitie werd er vooral uit het script gelezen ,en gelachen, en probeerde de acteurs meerdere rollen zodat deze later goed verdeeld kunnen worden. Zo vormt Albert de acteurs langzaam tot de ideale oorlogsheld, de onzekere student, de soldaat, de verzetsstijder of geliefde. Vanaf nu wordt elke week een deel van het cultuurcentrum op de campus overgenomen door de nieuwe groep acteertalenten. Het stuk gaat zich vormen.

Getekend Repetities

Zoek je een bijbaantje?

Voor onze pool met flyeraars en poster ophangers zoeken wij nog studenten die wat bij willen verdienen. Studium Generale (SG) is er voor studenten van de TU Delft. SG wil bijdragen aan de academische vorming van studenten en aan het maatschappelijk debat over de rol van techniek en ingenieurs in de moderne samenleving, zowel op als buiten de campus van de TU Delft. SG stelt je wereld in een ander licht. Bezoek onze lezingen, workshops, debatten, films en documentaires over de meest uiteenlopende onderwerpen met bekende en onbekende wetenschappers, schrijvers, journalisten of politici, vaak op de scheidslijn van techniek en maatschappij en soms controversieel en altijd kritisch. Wij programmeren voor een groot deel op de campus in samenwerking met en bij de studie- en studentenverenigingen.

Heb je interesse of een vraag neem dan contact op met Studium Generale of bel 015-2785235.

Getekend: Audities

De theaterproductie van Getekend is in volle gang. Met een enthousiast productie bestuur bestaande uit studenten en drie gemotiveerde commissies zijn er al een paar hele mooie dingen gemaakt. In februari zullen de eerste repetities  plaatsvinden maar daarvoor moeten er eerst acteurs gevonden worden! Gewapend met posters en flyers, die gemaakt zijn door de designcommissie, ging de promocommissie bij alle verenigingen in Delft langs. Van studieverenigingen en cultuurcentra tot studentenverenigingen, niks was na hun harde werk nog postervrij.

Op de borrelvloer van deze verenigingen werd menig enthousiasteling gevonden die maar al te graag wilde auditeren om een plekje te veroveren op het toneel. Wil jij ook nog mee doen? Stuur dan voor 18 december een mailtje naar audities@getekenddelft.nl, en wie weet speel jij in mei wel mee in de grootste theaterproductie van Delft!

SG Academy

The SG Academy is a new initiative by Studium Generale to engage budding engineers in literature, philosophy, critical thinking, and a generally broader look at human culture through all kinds of media. Think of it as a modern book club, where a small group of (aspiring) intellectuals get together to discuss not just books, but writers, comics, art, movies, essays, articles, and documentaries.

Believe nothing Face Bob

The content will focus on everything from philosophy, to anthropology, cultural criticism, linguistics, logic, mythology, political ideologies, and metaphysics. Think Socrates, the Tao te Ching, Machiavelli, Marx, Zen Buddhism; the phenomenon of bullshit jobs; Banksy; the hidden meaning of your favorite Hollywood films; and other eye-openers.

Here’s how it works. When you sign up for the SG Academy mailing list, you will receive regular updates on the upcoming material, and the date and location where we will discuss it. Just RSVP if and when you want to join a discussion and you’ll get a confirmation. Discussions (and reading/viewing materials) will be informal and in English, led by Klaas from SG; the groups will be no bigger than 10 people, and we’ll get together during lunch breaks in the TU Library to chat. As a bonus, if you like, you can write about your thoughts and we’ll publish them on the SG website.

The objective is not to burden you with massive loads of reading or viewing material. Instead, we’ll take small bits at a time and use them to expand each others’ minds through in-depth analysis. Fun!

So here’s step one: sign up for the mailing list through SG program manager Klaas @ k.p.vandertempel@tudelft.nl

Tell us your name, what you’re studying, and briefly what your interest is as a human being in cultural and social matters.

Who the heck is Klaas?
Program manager at Studium Generale since 2010, Klaas graduated in 2002 with an IB diploma specializing in world literature, an honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Toronto in Anthropology, Political Sciences, and International Relations in 2006, and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Utrecht in the Comparative History and Philosophy of Science in 2009. Apart from organizing and engaging in tons of mentally stimulating activities at SG, Klaas writes books on philosophy, the power of language, belief systems, and mystical experiences. His greatest ambition is to increase his intelligence, compassion, and wisdom, together with others.