Last week, seventeen students on the Uilenstede campus in Amstelveen were fined for not keeping the stipulated distance. Although they share a kitchen and bathroom, the police don’t consider this living arrangement a ‘household’.
Because a student house is not officially a ‘household,’it is nowa criminal offence for students to congregate with housemates. Students are expected to maintain distance from one another as much as possible and stick to their own rooms.
Students Roos Postmus and Lars Reus wrote a letter of protest in response to the fines. ‘When you’re with family, you can do whatever you want, but we have to maintain distance,’they wrote. ‘The landlord warned us that it was legal for the police to carry out checks indoors which may result in a criminal record.’ The Uilenstede Residents Association also wrote a letter to the police and the municipality of Amstelveen to inform them about the great deal of unrest and fear that the increased enforcement causes.
Student housing association Duwo said that these complexes are a ‘special form of housing’ and that they are discussing the case with the police. ‘We are working on clarifying the rules.’ The police have stated they will mostly take action when housemates gather in public spaces.