The oldest student house in Enschede

“We didn't study, we were students.” The self-proclaimed oldest student house in Enschede, at Oldenzaalsestraat 308, dates from October 1968. The name of this house? 'OD 308'.

OD (the abbreviation of Oude Delft) was the basis for the abandonment (by students) of the campus housing and was officially opened in 1968 by Rector Magnificus Willem van Spiegel as the first student house in the city. The house owes its name to the fact that the first residents partly came from Delft, where Oude Delft is a well-known street full of student houses.

In 1964, the first group of students started on the brand new campus of the Twente Polytechnic Institute. Until 1968, students had a 'campus obligation'. Afterwards they were allowed to 'room' anywhere. Whether OD 308 is really the oldest student house? Other houses will dispute it, former resident Stan van Rosmalen realized at the time of the anniversary in 2018. “It is difficult to say with 100 percent certainty. But we have the official documents of the founding, they do not.”

What characterizes OD 308? “We are a home for people who want an active student life. Traditionally, residents are members of student associations Taste or Audentis, for example. The first residents of the house were also the founders of the Drienerlose Hockey Club on campus. And we also organize a lot within our house. We eat together, go away for an annual weekend or suddenly decide to go to a sports match. You must like that. When we look for a new resident, we choose a student who fits that picture.'

Guus Tromp, Gerard Nunninkhoven, Jan Dopper and Ben van der Lugt are among the first group of six residents. Two have already died. At the lustrum they were amazed. “Oh look at that. An ironing board. They now have an ironing board.” In the time of Guus Tromp there was no ironing. Student life has changed immensely. “We didn't have one. But to be honest, I have no idea how we did it.” Two married an Enschede girl. All four made quite a career. Dopper and Tromp, among others, at the biochemical giant Gist-Brocades (later DSM). Nunninkhoven as a business expert and marketer. Only Van der Lugt really said goodbye to technology. He became a lawyer and later a public prosecutor. Including at the Almelo court. The four still have a lot of contact with each other, they have dinner together at least once a year. “We really became best friends. When you live in one house 365 days a year, you develop a close bond. Did they have quarrels? No no. Men don't. We haven't had a day of arguing. Not even an hour. It was the best time of my life,” says Tromp. “A golden time. We didn't study, we were students!”

A portrait of all residents hangs in the stairwell. The kitchen is well tidy. So are the five rooms. The bathroom is 'remarkably clean'. The layout of the rooms is almost the same as 50 years ago. Except the attic. It then consisted of two rooms, but the fire brigade no longer allowed that. “It's well maintained, you know. And a lot cleaner than in our time. With us you had to hold up an umbrella in the kitchen, otherwise the plaster from the ceiling would fall on your head while cooking.”

Source: a.o. TC Tubantia 1 sept 2018