Temporary reception of refugees in University Sport Centre
From Friday evening 23 October Leiden University will receive 120 refugees in our University Sport Centre (USC) on the Einsteinweg in Leiden. The refugees will stay for a week, up to and including Friday 30 October. This measure has consequences for students and staff. Sporting activities in the sport centre will not be possible during this period and exams will be held at different locations in the town.
The University has designated the Pieterskerk, the Hooglandse Kerk and the Holiday Inn as alternative locations for students who were expecting to take exams next week in the USC. We are asking sports enthusiasts for their understanding of the fact that the sport centre will be unavailable due to the urgent need for temporary accommodation for these refugees.
The request for emergency accommodation has come from the Municipality of Leiden and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). The Executive Board believes it is important to fulfil our civic responsibilities and to do what we can to meet this request. Rector Carel Stolker: ‘The refugee crisis in Europe is a major human disaster and, if we are asked for assistance, we want to play our part in alleviating the situation.’
This is a temporary reception of refugees who are already in the area and who have come from short-stay emergency reception centres/sport centres in the municipality of Zoeterwoude. After next week they will be transferred to new locations. They are mainly families with young children who have come from such countries as Syria and Eritrea.
The reception of the refugees in the USC will last for a week (up to and including 30 October) and is expected to be a one-off situation. The University does not exclude the possibility that the Municipality and COA may make a similar request in the event of a future emergency. We will consider any such requests as and when they are made.
The form to sign up as a volunteer is closed. At this moment we already have a huge amount of applications from students and staff who want to volunteer. We thank you very much for this overwhelming amount of reactions!