While some people turn to picking up old and new hobbies, domesticate whole cultures of yeast and bacteria in their kitchen, or exhaust the Dutch supply of puzzle games, the WUR seems to have found their way of beating boredom during a global pandemic. New buildings are popping up on campus like mushrooms these days. The newest acquisition in the collection: a dialogue centre.
A fully transparent building (literally made from glass), right under the ever-waking eye of our highest-ranking university PR brains, dedicated to the delicate art of dialogue. WUR has really outdone itself with their attention to symbolic details on this one! For better or worse, it seems like the university has found a slick way to respond to the recent criticisms about problems with transparency and their collaboration with the private sector.
Here at Wageningen University, we don’t do conflicts
Since the emergence of Unilever on campus, different student initiatives have tried to organise critical discussions at and with the university but had to learn that WUR prefers to argue about semantics, rather than real problems. While there is a lot to say for the power of dialogue and genuine and honest thought exchanges, there is a time and place for everything. The emphasis on calling anything and everything a dialogue has become WUR’s proudest party trick to divert from the real conflict. I’m sorry, did I say the c-word?
It has become common knowledge that here at Wageningen University, we don’t do conflicts. We do dialogues. After all, we are all working towards the same goal. We merely have different versions of the same opinions and god forbid anyone so much as tickles the foundation of this harmonic narrative. This is a university, not a debate club! So, let’s stop complaining, scratch the aggressive vocabulary like ‘debate’ and ‘conflict’ and make room for more dialogues and consensus. Now that’s a c-word that we can all get behind, right?
We merely have different versions of the same opinions
Pack up your banners, critical students of Wageningen, because the university has heard your cries. The fight – if there ever was one – is won, and the dialogue centre shall be the splendid monument to a new era. A place where we can all come together and blissfully exchange our uncontroversial thoughts on how much WUR is already doing for the climate, the environment, and our friendly neighbourhood multinationals. It’s a corporate university’s PR dream come true!