Derk from A.S.V.Gay
On February 23, 2010, Fien de Vries, Merel van Kessel, Suzanne Roodenburg and Nora Neuteboom signed the statutes that form the basis of the Amsterdam student association A.S.V.Gay. This of course did not just happen by itself.
In 2009 Fien de Vries starts her degree at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She soon finds out that there is not much to do for gay students in Amsterdam. She thinks it's time for something new; a place where she can meet like-minded people from her own generation – a student association! She discusses the idea with her friends Nora and Merel, and like the three lesbian musketeers, they decide to go for it.
The three women speak with all kinds of different organisations and associations, and more and more they get the feeling that they will succeed. Of course you don't just set up a student association in one day, all sorts of official affairs have to be taken care of, but for that they really need an old lesbian, uh, hand to help them out.
After spending a couple of months mostly drinking a lot of beer and fantasising about setting up their very own student association, Suzanne suddenly shows up. Suzanne had heard of their idea about setting up a student association aimed at LGBTQ+ students from other people. She's very interested and she seems to get along well with Fien, Merel and Nora right off the bat. Additionally, Suzanne turns out to have an infinite network of older lesbian women who are but too happy to help these youngsters achieve their goal.
Chair Fien: So much has happened. We went from four nervous girls who didn't even know each other very well, to partners and very close friends. From laughing and being creative to crying, arguing and resolving conflicts: all emotions have passed!
Fien, Merel, Nora and Suzanne can start writing A.S.V.Gay's very first policy plan. On February 23, 2010, they arrive at the notary's office, bathed in sweat, with only a few minutes to spare. At the price of a single Hema cake, the deed is signed and A.S.V.Gay is a fact!
Later that year a borrel is organised at the COC which attracts around 80 people. Of course there is lots of chatter and beer, but there is also serious brainstorming about what A.S.V.Gay should be like. Which committees does the association need? How often should we have borrels? What kind of activities should there be? Everyone present believes in the dream of an LGBTQ+ student association and shows their support in various ways.
Member sign-ups officially start on 1 July 2010. Fien, Merel, Nora and Suzanne, now the founding board of A.S.V.Gay, still disagree about whether we got 22, 45 or 100 members at this first sign-up period. Whatever the case, engraved in our memories as an incredibly proud moment, is people being able to register as a member of the very first Amsterdam student association for LGBTQ+ students.
From left to right: Suzanne, Nora (top), Merel (bottom), Fien
The original statutes of A.S.V.Gay
In the first three years of its existence, the association proved to be an enormous success. The number of members grew faster every year. The fourth board therefore decides to focus on mutual bonding between members and to make the integration of older and new members run more smoothly. One of the ways in which this is attempted is the introduction of the Kweekweek. A longer introduction period for all new members.
In this association year 13|14, committees will have more autonomy for the first time. Instead of board members taking presence in committees, it was decided to switch to a system whereby there are committee chairmen who are accountable to the commissaris Intern.
Moreover, this was the year in which the A.S.V.Gay song was written and introduced. Thieu Driessen is the founder of this. The song would not yet be used on a large scale, which will only follow in the years to come.
After a year of having borrels in Café Bordó, the decision was made to change the location of the weekly borrel with a lot of deliberation. A.S.V.Gay returned to the Amstel54.
After a suggestion by honorary member Henny Bos (mrs. prof. dr.) that A.S.V.Gay should one day organise a scientific congress, this was actually done this year. The first scientific congress was a fact. The theme of the congress was homosexuality and gender non-conformity. Researchers and students could send in papers for this. In the end, a diverse range of research was chosen from the submissions. It varied from persecution of homosexuality in the Middle Ages to transgender care among young people. It was an enormous success.
At the end of the academic year, at the beginning of the summer holidays, the first trip ever took place to a Gay Pride abroad. Cologne was the destination. A successful trip with a relaxed atmosphere was the result.