For many students new to Lund the Nations provide an exciting backdrop to get involved in the student experience. But columnist Rowena Guthrie is frustrated that it excludes her visiting friends and family.
New students may have come across needing their Student Lund ID to enter nation clubs but what is not so obvious is that this card is necessary to take part in any of the Nation activities, even lunch and brunch.
The Nations are certainly a place to enrich and support the students of Lund University and, as the President of Kuratorskollegiet Ludvig Bodelsson put it over the phone, “the main objective of the Nations is to have activities and services for students.” But at what point does this create an us and them situation?
Guests who are completing a higher education outside of Lund University are able to get a temporary membership in a nation in the form of a ‘guest card’ which makes them eligible to take part in Nation activities but this is not a simple process. This hurdle acts as another step of exclusion rather than aiming to have a system that is simple and straight forward, potentially encouraging visitors into the Nations while they are in Lund.
For Kuratorskollegiet, it is easier to control when there is a standardised system applied to all Nations and according to Bodelsson, there are strict laws dictating that “the Nations can only serve their members”. Therefore, this extra step of the guest card is necessary to abide by that rule.
Of course, municipal regulations must be followed but Bodelsson clearly states that Kuratorskollegiet is not only “a co-operative organization between the Nations,” but that he and the Vice-President act as “the Nation’s representatives when talking to the municipality”. When fulfilling this role of representation, are the students happy that this municipality policy is being accepted and maintained?
The need for students to have their own space within their place of study is an expected aspect of university life, however making a large part of Lund University life inaccessible for visitors who are not students seems very extreme. Considering the students, especially the large number of international students, who may have family or friends visiting, it is a shame that they are excluded from a great part of the Lund University experience.