By Koko Christiaanse
— After a very successful evening filled with music, energy, and fun on Friday, September 20, the Dormsessions committee woke up to discover that at least 700 euros worth of equipment was stolen throughout the night.
Dormsessions organises their music events in a specific common room, in a string colloquially known as the “Dormsessions string”. Dormsessions keeps close ties with the inhabitants of this string and hold themselves to rules and agreements surrounding the use of the common room. They are granted access to the common room by AUCSA secretary Maurits Jurgens, who lives in the string and hence holds the appropriate magnet key.
Dormsessions keeps their equipment locked in the common room after every event, to be cleaned up the next morning. However, when they arrived the morning of September 21, they realised that all items that were small enough to fit into a bag were stolen. There were no signs of forced entry.
The equipment stolen consists of four microphones, three power cables, an XLR cable, a mix table, and various other assorted cables. The mixer that made part of the portable PA system was also stolen, rendering the whole system unusable. The items belonging to The AUCSA are estimated to be worth between 700 and 900 euros. Personal gear belonging to Dormsessions co-chair Amadeo Feingold was also found to be missing.
The incident came as a shock: This is the first time anything has been stolen from The AUCSA. “Everything is in good trust,” says Jet de Vries, president of The AUCSA. She explains that as all AUC students are members of The AUCSA and pay the membership fee as part of their tuition, the equipment is meant to serve a communal purpose. “Everybody in the dorms values that”, says de Vries.
According to de Vries, Dormsessions’s immediate response was to call their Committee Affairs Officer, Alexander Sleeckx, who spoke with the board of The AUCSA to create a joint course of action. Dormsessions also established contact with members of the string, asking them if it was possible to search their rooms, and to inquire if they had seen anything. The AUCSA reached out to the Advisory Council, a body that serves to mediate, advise, and oversee the AUCSA board.
The AUCSA subsequently wrote an email to all students to inform them about the incident and opted to create an anonymous tip form before approaching the police. Unfortunately, no tips were received. The police were informed of the situation as of Thursday, September 25. DUWO has also been contacted with hopes of being able to provide leads concerning the magnet keys.
The AUCSA has yet to hear back from their insurance provider about the extent to which the loss is covered. Despite this, de Vries assures that Dormsessions will continue organizing events this year and that The AUSCA is hoping to replace the equipment.
The incident has raised questions about security in the dorms, especially following incidents over the summer concerning AUC-unaffiliated youths creating disturbances in the dorms. Student testimonies, including that of de Vries herself, confirm that this group loitered around the dorms on numerous occasions whilst causing considerable damage, such as to the railings on the fifth floor of the last building, which are still bent to this day.
The extent of community trust surrounding the dorms and common rooms is also a topic for discussion. Students have been known to take things from common rooms or from hallways, but an incident such as this is unprecedented. However, de Vries believes that despite the events on Friday, September 20, trust within the AUC community itself is still intact. De Vries says that “for the student body, it is good to know that everything will be alright. It happened, it sucks, but we can’t really stay paranoid; [the dorms are] still a safe place.”