Who we were & Who we are…


In the early sixties of the last century, people began to realize that fresh water was running out. The Department of Cultural Technology therefore found it appropriate to establish an orientation for the purification of water. At the time, water purification technology was recognisable by a chamber, two people and some bubbling barrels. The study “Water Purification Research” was formally established in 1962. Under the primary initiative of Professor Mulder of the Department of Microbiology and Professor Helling of the Department of Cultural Technology. Mr. Fohr was a professor in the new department. Two students who began their studies in 1962 later became the founders of Actiefslib: Pita Meijn and Quirino Richardson. The latter became the first chairman of Actiefslib.

Actiefslib was formally established on 13 December 1966. The name originates from the substance containing bacteria (activated sludge) used to disinfect water, dirt and air. The Association goals were twofold. First, there was a need for practical information from the university, as communication was found to be lacking. This knowledge, partly obtained through lectures, gave rise to students criticizing the study programs and social conditions. The other objective was to bring together students who knew each other only from the lectures, or not at all. In 1970/1971, the purification of water became an environmental study. Actiefslib struggled due to the blending of various orientations.

During this period, the study became more general than before. In the end, Actiefslib did manage to survive. A number of activities were organized: from film evenings to a demonstration against the construction of a nuclear reactor in Kalkar. The name of the association was changed from Actiefslib to Aktief Slip in 1977. Although it was not entirely correct linguistically, it was in accordance with the time-spirit. After some decay in the 80’s, when the association had shrunk to the size of an archive-case, it emerged from its ashes like a phoenix in the 90’s. Today, we are known as Aktief Slip and are among the larger Study Associations in Wageningen. On top of that, the activity-to-size ratio must be one of the highest! We are also unique in that international members are just as active and motivated as our Dutch student members.

As always, Aktief Slip & its board members continue to strive to make the association a warm place for everyone from all over the world.