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VUB student life gets an extra international boost. Proudly presenting the new kid in town:  the Brussels Association of the Social Sciences, abbreviated BASS.


At the last student council of 2016-2017, BASS was provisionally recognised by the Student Council. The association will now begin its three-year long journey of becoming a fully acknowledged association by the university. During this period, student organisations have to prove that they are solid and sustainable. Sympathizing students help them out by joining them or participating in their activities. We met with Jonnick Foncke, President of BASS, and Joke Matthieu, teaching assistant of the Bachelor in Social Sciences.


First of all, congrats! It is quite amazing to see a new association of students being recognised so rapidly, within the first year of a new course programme. How did you do this?

Well, at the start of the second semester we were discussing the needs of our students in the working group ‘Student Affairs’. As most of them are English speaking, they felt not very attracted by other student associations mainly due to the language barrier, and secondly because of their traditional folkloristic activities which include for example filthy clothes, baptisms, … . Given our big student numbers, many expressed the desire to establish their very own English-speaking student association. After presenting the students the different possibilities and surveying their preferences and demands, the students clearly preferred to establish an officially recognised student association that includes other students as well. This means creating an association that is open to all English speaking VUB students and not only students from the Bachelor of the Social Sciences, although the core and main initiative departed of course from this program.


Thereafter, we started working on the foundations of this new association by for example creating the name and the abbreviation, the statutes, collecting signatures of students who support the association, … .


That means that you will not use lab coats, caps and ribbons?

Indeed. Maybe after the trial period of three years things might change, but for now we don’t need it. We want to be easily accessible. There will be some kind of initiation ritual, a kind of city game or something alike, but certainly no nude theatre. And we did develop a sign: It carries the VUB-colours and a symbol used in astronautics to symbolise the world, as we have students from all over the planet.


What kind of activities will you develop at first?

Many: quizzes, movie nights, discovering Brussels,… and probably some fundraising activities as well. Membership rate is only 5€, but hopefully many professors will accept a more expensive honorary membership. We would also like to initiate some kind of buddy programme, maybe tutoring and most certainly act as a soundboard for all Social Sciences students. More important for the moment is to find board members or people willing to actively take up some roles as Cultural Officer, Party Officer, … .  


Interested students can contact Jonnick via and follow their Facebook page ‘BASS Vub’, Instagram account ‘vubbass’ and twitter ‘vub_bass’. And just for the correct sound of it: BASS is pronounced as in ‘double bass’, not like bars or the fish from the sea.