The CDL was founded on May 20, 1926. It started back then as a group of 23 senior students who gathered for companionship. During these gatherings, one of the members had prepared a chemical lecture to update the others on a self-chosen topic. After a few meetings, they decided to continue under the name "Physisch Chemisch Dispuut". Only students who had passed their first doctoral exams were allowed to become members of the Physisch Chemisch Dispuut. In the mid-1930s, under the supervision of Professor Ehrenfest, a discussion group specifically for first-year students was founded: "Physichem." Just before the Second World War, during which almost all club activities came to a halt, the merger of these two discussion groups took place. Together, they continued under the name "Chemisch Dispuut". After the war, there were several years of searching for the form in which the CDL would continue. What emerged from this is well known, of course. The CDL came back to life and has endured many relocations, educational innovations, crises, and other challenges.
In the beginning
This is the first piece from the HistoriCie (Historical Committee) that has been published in the Chimica Acta Lugduni. Here, we will paint a picture of what was alive in the early days of the Chemical Dispuut Leiden.
May 20, 1926, is a date etched in all our memories. On that day, the first meeting of the (later so-called) 'Physisch Chemisch Dispuut' took place. According to the minutes of that initial meeting, the association had 23 members at the time, with 17 present at the meeting. During this meeting, household matters were discussed first. The costs for gatherings were set at 4.50 to 5.00 guilders, which, with 23 members, amounted to 0.20 to 0.25 guilders per occasion. Consequently, the membership fee was established at 1.00 guilder per 4 meetings. However, in practice, it turned out that this membership fee wasn't always well managed, and during the first few years, they even passed around a "church bag" a few times to cover the costs of the meetings. Of course, an association needs a board, so that was also discussed during this meeting. The idea of rotating the chairman (there was no "praeses" at the time) in alphabetical order "doesn't seem to garner much enthusiasm." It should be noted that deciphering the minutes is not always easy. "not much" could also be read as "zero" or "a lot," which can significantly affect the meaning. Although the first chairman was Mr. Baars, there was no rotation, so we chose "not much." The ultimate distribution of responsibilities wasn't immediately the most logical: Mr. J.C. Baars became the chairman, Ms. Lanzing became both the vice-chairman and vice-secretary, and Mr. Groeneveld was tasked with both the secretary and treasurer roles. "Given the dwarf-like dimensions of the treasurer's office," it was deemed unnecessary to separate the roles of secretary and treasurer. The first space that the dispute was given access to was thanks to Ms. de Beer. Due to her culinary contribution to Prof. Schneide, the small lecture room was made available, "on the express condition that any still life (such as pastries, curtains soaked in tea, and curtains clinging to the windows) be avoided if possible." You have to appreciate the little things when you're a small and fledgling association. At that moment, our dispute didn't have a name. Everyone was called upon to help come up with a suitable name. In fact, this is still something we do today (a sign that history repeats itself). Whenever a name needs to be chosen, we hold a competition for it. The ultimate choice of the word 'dispute' as the name for an association may seem odd nowadays. In light of what the association did back then, it's actually quite fitting. A 'dispuut' still means a formal disagreement. In older Dutch, 'dispuut' also meant a presentation or dialogue. This, as we will see, is very characteristic of the prevailing vision of the newly established dispute at that time.
From meetings to membered association
In the early days of the Physisich Chemisch Dispuut, there was actually only one type of activity: the meeting. Such a meeting can be divided into two parts. First, there was a brief meeting as we know it today, where things were discussed and decisions were made. Then, one of the members took the floor, having prepared a story and giving a lecture to the other members of the dispute. In the beginning, these lectures were fully documented, but later, only the topics were recorded. Here's a small selection of topics that were discussed: "Electrochemistry of solids" by J. Lens, "On two methods for determining molecular forms" by L.W.J. Holleman, "Theories related to the periodic table" by R.S. Tjaden Modderman, and during the first meeting, "Something about fluorescence" by H.P. Theunissen. The first annual report from the first year suggests that there were students back then who may not have paid as much attention as you would expect from enthusiastic members of the new dispute, or there were speakers who presented overly complicated or boring stories. "Something about fluorescence" doesn't really give the impression of an interesting lecture.
In 1929, we find the first mention of a committee. Because it turned out to be not very easy to give lectures and presentations to a group of people, a committee was established with the goal of "advising speakers on the choice and organization of their presentations." 1929 is also the year when the first excursion took place. In the morning, a visit was made to the "Clichéfabriek" a lithography company that burned down in the 1970s. In the afternoon, things got even more dangerous with a visit to the sulfuric acid factory of Ketjen en Co. For the attentive reader: this is indeed the company that later became part of AkzoNobel, where we went on an excursion last year.
We make a small leap to the year 1930-1931. This is the year when professors began giving lectures at meetings for the first time. Prof. F.A.H. Schreinenmakers was the first to do so, giving three lectures on osmosis. But even now, the members themselves continued to give presentations. Here, we also come across collaborations with the Chemische Kring (sub-association of KNCV) and other student associations. Apparently, even in the 1930s, there was a lot of collaboration among (chemical) students. At the annual meeting on March 2, 1931, the board became more recognizable with a modern touch: the secretary was renamed to "ab-actis." However, the chairman and treasurer still retained their Dutch names for the time being.
Finally, we'd like to share an important fact with you. You may have noticed that the name of the dispute was initially set as 'Physisch Chemisch Dispuut.' In the annual report of 1931-1932, it is stated: "In the past year, several changes took place within the dispute. It started the year under the name 'Physisch Chemisch Dispuut,' but over time, it lost the first predicate." Whether or not to change the name was, as they say in poker, a true coin flip. There were a total of 18 people present at the meeting. Among them, 9 people voted for the change, 8 people were against it, and 1 vote was blank. The change was the reason for the then-chairman to step down. This illustrates that it was an exciting time in the fifth year of our association. These were busy, extraordinary childhood years that our association experienced.
History of CDL excursions
Chemists are naturally curious. Of course, we want to understand how the world works from a chemical perspective, but we are also broadly interested in the human world around us. This is also evident in the history of the CDL, especially in the numerous trips and excursions they have undertaken from the very beginning. With two travel reports in another section of the Chimica, we thought it was a great opportunity for another journey – a journey through the history of the CDL.
As was mentioned in our previous piece, just three years after the official establishment of the CDL, the first excursion took place on June 4, 1929. In the morning, they were guests at the chemographers of Van Leer, a cliché factory in Amsterdam. Here, they produced illustrations for printing companies using etching, a commonly used technique before photographs became more common (and yes, this is the etymological origin of the expression "what a cliché"). After lunch at the lunchroom of the Noord en Zuid Hollandsche Vervoer Maatschappij, the group headed to the location of Ketjen and Co., the sulfuric acid factory in Amsterdam North. When the official program ended at four o'clock, some of the delegation stayed in the city and "only returned to Leiden in the evening, very satisfied with this first excursion of the dispute."
This was the beginning of a long tradition of excursions and trips that would take the budding chemists all over the world. In the beginning, excursions were an annual occurrence. In 1930, they visited the glass factory in Leerdam (aptly named Glassfabriek Leerdam), and in 1931, a group of 26 chemists traveled "by bus" to the sugar factory in Halfweg. On July 5, 1932, a new phenomenon was introduced: they visited a research institution, the lab of Dr. Bijvoet (later Prof. Dr. J. Bijvoet, famous for his pioneering work in X-ray crystallography). Also new was the afternoon program, a cultural visit to the Rembrandt exhibition at the University of Amsterdam. A truly memorable excursion took place in 1934 when they were guests at the Jamin confectionery factory, located in Rotterdam. According to the annual report, it was a very interesting visit: "It is said that several excursionists labored for weeks with a grossly overloaded stomach, which only goes to show how lively the interest was."
Organizing an excursion wasn't always easy, as evidenced by the annual report of 1935. Despite attempts to gain admission to several factories that year, no excursion took place. The 'standard excursion' was invented quite early. On June 27, 1935, they were guests at the Tieleman & Dros company in their own Leiden. This canning factory received them several times until its bankruptcy in 1955. Some of the factory buildings can still be admired on the Middelstegracht. On May 5, 6, and 7, 1936, the first "multi-day" excursion was held. This excursion, which could almost be called the first trip to Belgium, visited Eindhoven and Limburg (specifically Lutterade). A visit to the Philips factories was, of course, a part of the program, along with visits to the Bakelite factory and the noble gas manufacturer. In Lutterade, on the third day, they visited the nitrogen fixation plant (fertilizers, explosives) of the Staatsmijnen. In the following years, multi-day excursions continued, such as in 1937 when there was a two-day excursion to Geldermalsen, Oss, and Nijmegen. In Geldermalsen, they visited the Chamotte factory, a producer of refractory materials (ceramics). Nijmegen was the overnight stop, with the night on the Waal river being experienced as very pleasant. On the second day, the extensive laboratory complex of Organon in Oss was visited in the morning, and in the afternoon, they visited the Verbandwatten en Pleisterfabriek in Nijmegen. Here, too, the participants enjoyed a well-organized tour. As the ab actis (secretary) concludes: "those who stayed home were wrong again."
During the Second World War, all association activities came to a halt. When the association was restarted after the war, the first real foreign excursion took place. At the end of March 1949, candidates embarked on a four-day trip to Ghent and Bruges, where they visited the university and some companies. The following year, the boundaries were expanded further when Copenhagen was visited in September 1950, marking the first visit to a non-Dutch-speaking city. The program included visits to the Chemical Laboratory of the Technical University, a large brewery, and a manufacturer of organic chemical and therapeutic products. After this foreign excursion, the tone was set, and efforts were made to organize a trip every two years, a trend that persisted for a long time. As far as we can determine, Europe remained the only continent explored by CDL delegations for quite some time. It wasn't until 2001 that the CDL crossed the Atlantic to New York, followed by a trip to China in 2011. In 2014, it was South America's turn, with a visit to Brazil.
Location, location, location
The Gorlaeus Laboratoria, room S0.08a, has been the fixed spot for the CDL board for years. Or has it been years? In fact, the Futiristic is only the eighth board that fully occupies this "cubicle." Various spaces have been allocated to the CDL for longer or shorter periods. This, of course, also applies to the study of chemistry. Here's a brief history of the buildings and spaces where chemists and CDL members have been present in Leiden over the past centuries.
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
The University of Leiden, shortly after its founding, occupied an old church on Rapenburg as its first permanent location. This building is still used by the university today and is now known as the Academy Building. Soon, the university outgrew this space and began its expansion. Until the mid-nineteenth century, all teaching and research buildings were concentrated around Rapenburg. Pharmaceutical research was conducted at Papengracht, number 4. Chemical research has been concentrated in the current Kamerlingh Onnes Building since 1856, then known as the "Fysisch, Chemisch, Anatomisch En Fysiologisch Laboratorium" (Physical, Chemical, Anatomical, and Physiological Laboratory). This building was established on the initiative of the unconventional chemistry professor, Van der Boon Mesch. Encouraged by dissatisfied students who complained about the poor working conditions in the provisional chemical and physical cabinets in old buildings in the city center, he persuaded the minister to finance a new laboratory on the Kleine Ruïne (formed during the Gunpowder Explosion of 1807). What's remarkable about this building is that it was one of the first laboratory buildings in the Netherlands designed with the requirement that scientific experiments would be conducted within, thus necessitating a specific layout and equipment.
Hugo de Grootstraat
In 1873, Antoine Paul Nicholas Franchimont (1844-1919) became the first extraordinary professor in organic chemistry ever. Partly at his insistence, the "palatial" laboratory on Hugo de Grootstraat was established in 1901. Franchimont considered it very suitable for "the rare combination of extensive knowledge, creative ability, logical thinking, ingenuity, dexterity, and good fortune": science.
Towards the end of the century, the perspectives had changed to the extent that it was preferred to have the chemical branch located just outside the densely populated city center. Therefore, construction began on a new Laboratory for Organic Chemistry on Hugo de Grootstraat in 1896 (see inset). This building, constructed entirely in neo-Gothic style, was expanded in 1910 to a complex with over 6,000 square meters. In the 1950s and 1960s, the university and the chemistry program grew so significantly that new accommodation was needed. In 1963, construction began on a massive complex further outside the city center, in the developing area of Leeuwenhoek, easily accessible via the A44 highway. In 1968, the building on Hugo de Grootstraat was permanently vacated. In recent years, it is no longer owned by the university and has been converted into luxury apartments.
...In the early years, I found it enjoyable that classes were held in various locations in the city: chemistry in Hugo de Grootstraat, physics in the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory, mathematics in the Academy Building, and mineralogy in the Geological and Mineralogical Institute on Garenmarkt...
...Not all chemical waste that we produced during chemical labs could be disposed of down the drain. For the aggressive chemicals, there was a simple solution: "the pit."
The pit was located in the courtyard of the buildings on Hugo de Grootstraat, a hole in the ground with a lid on it. Strong acids, bases, toxic substances, everything went into the pit. Sometimes, after a while, the lid would shoot meters into the air following the disposal. Whether the pit was connected to the city's sewer system or directly linked to the water in Jan van Goyenkade, I do not know. Sodium residues usually did not go into the pit but were dumped directly into Jan van Goyenkade. We lived dangerously in those days, and the neighborhood could testify to it...
Jan Cornelisse, student ’54-‘61
The Gorlaeus Laboratories formed the foundation of what would later be called the Bio Science Park. Originally, the plan was to build six towers full of laboratories, accessible via a corridor around a circular lecture hall building. The current situation shows what has been realized from this plan. Only one of the towers was built for chemistry, and another was dedicated to physics. It is likely that it was within this complex that the CDL first got its own space, although the archives are not clear about this.
It is not entirely clear when the CDL first got its own boardroom. In the '70s and '80s, we were on the tenth floor. General meetings were also held here, with everyone dressed in turtlenecks. At some point, the CDL moved to a new space, closer to the ground and closer to the students. The exact timing of this move is uncertain, but in 1996, during the 14th lustrum (with Rob van Waarde as president, as mentioned elsewhere in this Chimica), the CDL was located in LCP19. Nowadays, we know this space as the archive, tucked away in the basements of the Gorlaeus. Here, the tradition of leaving handprints on the walls began. This tradition, now dormant, can be seen on the two filing cabinets in the current boardroom. Handprints can be found in the basement until the '90s.
Because the basement did not fully comply with the strict fire safety regulations in a laboratory building, the faculty wanted both S.V.LIFE (our neighbors at the time) and the CDL to vacate the basement. The bar area, as described in the previous Chimica, also needed to be made more professional and safe. The plan was to give up the small lecture rooms under the canteen and create space for the associations there. Major Line was the first board to move above ground again in 2005, into a space now part of the Science Club. When plans for the bar area changed again, during the Sas Chaos board, the CDL had to move again. This time, they occupied the space we now know as the CDL room.
However, this was not the last time the CDL would move. In 2008, under Hatchikidee's board, the wing was completely asbestos-free, still in preparation for the bar area. To do this, the CDL had to "temporarily" move back to its old boardroom in the basement. Eventually, the board stayed there for over a year, and Kharma was the first to move back.
What will happen when the new construction is completed in a few years is still unknown. Time will tell!
At the moment, the Chemisch Dispuut Leiden has three sub-disputen. In the history of the CDL, sub-disputen have often played an important role, so it was high time for the HistoriCie to dive into the CDL archive in search of the stories behind them.
Atomoi is a sub-dispuut formed by members with very diverse personalities. Their interests are mainly focused on non-chemical areas. Their varied regular program consists of meetings (sometimes with speakers from "non-chemical backgrounds"), social gatherings, and lunches, all seasoned with enjoyable outings (excursions and fondues). They also engage in sports activities; Atomoi, among other things, holds the CDL bridge cup, goes sailing, and sometimes has sports encounters with other sub-disputes. If you think Atomoi sounds similar to other sub-disputen due to these activities, come and convince them otherwise. P.S. This year, they are celebrating the Noniade, the preparatory party for the 2nd lustrum.
In the 1950s, the chemistry program in Leiden was thriving, and on paper, the CDL was quite large with more than 250 members. However, the success of the program also had a downside, as described in the annual report of '53-'54: "Where the Dispuut used to provide supplements to the limited study program, this is no longer necessary due to the wide variety in the most diverse subjects." The full study program was causing students to be "scientifically overloaded," and interest in the mainly chemistry-related activities of the CDL was declining significantly. In practice, the number of active CDL members was much lower, and efforts were made to change this.
In 1958, the CDL experimented for the first time with "dispuutkerntjes" (dispute kernels) consisting of 15 first and second-year chemistry students and an older-year mentor (including our oldest honorary member: Prof. J.J.C. Mulder). "These groups are intended to provide more contacts for the so-called unorganized students and to activate the 1st and 2nd-year students in favor of the Chemical Dispuut." Initially, students were divided into 7 groups, which in practice had many similarities with the current mentor groups. Soon, it became clear that having a number as a name was quite dull, and the groups began giving themselves names. During the next general assembly in early 1959, it was revealed that "three sub-disputen are doing well, two reasonably, and the others not." Subsequently, it was decided to let the "inactive sub-disputes die a natural death," which explains why only five of the seven sub-disputes have names that can be found today. These sub-disputes were Chemophop, Io Flectamus, Quinta Essentia, SN-17, and Queetal.
Io Flectamus, or Io Flectamus as stubborn Latinists say, is a controversial dispuut. Its devoted members will go to great lengths for it, while its competitors will not miss any opportunity to try to criticize it and tarnish the proud name of Io. What is Io? Io is a resounding dispuut, filled with lots of fun, lots of activity, and few taboos. Io is twelve years old. Io is about to turn thirteen. In short, Io is everything its members make of it.
Io membership is very compatible with the demanding chemistry program but is also open to those who think differently. You should be an Io member at least once in your life!
In the following years, the sub-disputen grew to become an essential part of the CDL. One of the driving forces mentioned is the interdisputair concours (interdispuut competition). This chemical competition was first organized in 1960, and the first three editions were won by SN-17. In 1963, it was the turn of the other sub-disputen, and SN-17 finished fifth that year. In the same year, the five sub-disputen celebrated their first lustrum together, with the CDL board and the newly established sub-disputen Atomoi and Farce also in attendance.
Over the course of the 1960s, the atmosphere within the sub-disputen became increasingly informal. For example, in 1966, the year was concluded with a visit to a Chinese restaurant and a party organized by the members of Chemophop, Io Flectamus, Queetal, Quinta Essentia, and SN-17. Especially SN-17 grew into a full-fledged association with its own board pins, a president's hammer, honorary members, and even a lustrum week in 1973. An enrollment stencil from 1973 lists nine sub-disputen (Io Flectamus, Klapstuk '69, Real L Mil '70, SN-17, Atomoi, Kathoor, Quinta Essentia, Farce, and Chemophop), with most of them having their own recruitment text (see boxes). It's clear that the sub-disputen were now overshadowing the CDL, and the CDL itself was virtually extinct. In 1976, it was reported that there hadn't been any members for four years, and efforts began to revive the CDL. The exact implications for the sub-disputen during this time are not well-documented, but the lustrum booklet of SN-17 from 1983 mentions that "SN-17 is the only sub-dispuut currently engaged in activities." A few years later, in 1986, SN-17 also came to an end, marking the end of the first period where sub-disputen played a role.
SN17 is one of the first sub-disputen that the CDL ever had. The dispuut was founded in 1958 and existed for many years. SN17 organized various activities ranging from regular drinks to theater visits. Unfortunately, the CDL had to bid farewell to SN17 when it was disbanded in 1986.
From the late 1990s onwards, several new sub-disputen were founded, starting with the Leids Heren Gezelschap "Extraheeren" in 1996, followed by Prlwytzkofski, Cerberus, De Rechtendrinkers, CDL Board "Georgeous" 2000, and the Leidsch Chemisch Heeren Gezelschap. The almanacs from this period suggest that these sub-disputen were primarily established for social purposes. The fact that they are not mentioned in the annual reports indicates that their role within the CDL was limited, and there is very little information available about them. The Leidsch Chemisch Heeren Gezelschap seems to have lasted the longest among this group and was disbanded in 2012 after changes to the statutes were approved by the General Assembly. After a short period without sub-disputen, the Leids Chemisch Dispuut "Prisma" was founded in November 2013, followed not long after by Fière and De Brouwmeesters. Perhaps this marks the beginning of a new era with active sub-disputes in the CDL.
U zit toch ook in een subdispuut
Zo’n echt chemisch subdispuut
Zo’n steengoed subdispuut
Zo’n heel fijn subdispuut
Zo’n dolgezellig subdispuut
Zo’n intellectual subdispuut
U weet dat u niet zonder kunt
Want wie zou willen missen
Dat ongedwongen samenzijn
Want wie zou willen missen
’t Advies van een rijper brein
Io Flectamus die pretendeert
Heel populair te zijn
Zoekt u echter intellect
Moet u ergens anders zijn
Kent u onze benjamin
Die vanaf de oprichting
Zich permitteren kan een Farce te zijn
Ga nu snel hospiteren
Bij Quinta, Kweetal, Chemophop
Maar ga het niet proberen
Bij Athomoi: dat wordt een flop
O, ga toch ook in een subdispuut
Zo’n echt chemisch subdispuut
Zo’n steengoed subdispuut
Zo’n heel fijn subdispuut
Zo’n dolgezellig subdispuut
Zo’n intellectual subdispuut
U weet dat u niet zonder kunt
Want wie zou willen missen
Dat ongedwongen samenzijn
Want wie zou willen missen
De zoutjes en de wijn
Most students spend a significant portion of their time at social gatherings. For those who haven't been at the Gorlaeus for too long, it's a common occurrence to visit the Science Club every Thursday afternoon. However, it wasn't always like this in the past. In this Chimica, we'll focus on the legendary predecessor of the Science Club: the Borrel Bunker.
We are in the academic year 1990-1991. Our wonderful association already has a rich history, with several foreign excursions under its belt. But something is still missing: the CBC (Chemical Borrel Committee), of course. The Chemical Borrel Committee was born. The first culprits: Léon Broer, Liesbeth van Buijsen, Helen Brantjes, and Aldo Schaap. Since there was no Science Club or similar social space at that time, they organized monthly gatherings on Tuesday evenings in a Leiden café.
Not much is known about the fate of the CBC in the years between its founding and its transition to the Bar Commissie upon the opening of the BorrelBunker. However, just before the BorrelBunker's opening, some valuable recommendations were made. Although the frequency of the gatherings was good, it was suggested to schedule them on the second Tuesday of each month.
For stability, it was decided to maintain three Leiden cafes as regular spots: Cheers, de Branderij, and de Droomfabriek.
They also conducted a survey among first-year students to gauge their preferences. The response rate was high, with 94% of the surveys were returned to the CBC. The conclusions drawn from this research were clear: themed gatherings were highly popular, as long as the theme aligned with students' interests. For example, a pool billiards-themed gathering was considered a very good idea by 55%, while a jam session-themed gathering was not.
Finally, 28% of first-year students were open to visiting cafes in other cities, with Amsterdam and Utrecht being mentioned as possible options. It was promised that a survey would also be conducted among older students, but there is no information available in the annual reports regarding this.
Mr. A. Gadro, better known as Adje, has been closely associated with the BorrelBunker since 1995. This beer-drinking mole has written numerous pieces for Chimica, almanacs, and even annual reports. Perhaps most notably, even Heineken managed to find him. After a few years of experience in regularly organizing gatherings, it occurred to him that a weekly gathering might be feasible. Around 1994, the idea of creating a bar space in the Gorlaeus began to take shape. Several discussions followed with faculty members.
Initially, the plan was to have a bar under the stairs so that the hall could become a central meeting space. However, it seems that the faculty board was not very enthusiastic about this idea, and they eventually proposed a different option, which the CDL agreed to. A niche in the cellars of the LCP (located under the current NMR department) would be cleared out for the newly established Bar Committee to set up their bar. A group of seven enthusiastic chemists became the first Bar Committee, and they fulfilled their role with enthusiasm. A tap was 'arranged,' and soon the space also had a name: the BorrelBunker. The BorrelBunker even acquired a permanent resident and mascot: Adje Gad. On October 10, 1995, the BorrelBunker opened its doors in a festive manner.
The BorrelBunker was a great success. Open every Thursday from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM, with beer and soft drinks at giveaway prices, many chemists found their way to the cellar. Even more AiOs (Assistant-in-Training researchers) and a few staff members began to frequent the place. In 1999, the BorrelBunker generated a turnover of over 17,000 guilders.
After a few years, the BorrelBunker had to move. The NMR department expanded, and large magnets were placed right above the gathering space. Just a little further down in the basement, next to the old CDL and LIFE room, a new bar was set up, complete with a new tap system, a beautifully handcrafted bar, tables, chairs, benches, and even something resembling a piano. The old space was converted into storage, where the old mobile tap remained.
Even in the new space, gatherings continued to be popular. Although student numbers drastically declined (from 500 CDL members in the early days to only 150 members in 2001), the gatherings remained lively. The operation of the BorrelBunker had, by this point, become independent of the CDL. The Leidse Biologen Club, Aesculapius, and LIFE all had a say through the Board of Commissioners and could also provide committee members.
Training at the BorrelBunker A professional bar, of course, requires a professional Tappers Guild. A thorough training, including a tap course, was essential. The tap course was quite challenging. The CO2 cylinder was turned all the way up, increasing the pressure until the keg cracked, and the trainee was instructed to pour a glass of beer, including only two fingers of foam. You can imagine that this didn't go quite right the first few times, and many glasses of beer were wasted. However, once the trainee mastered this technique, pouring a perfect beer from any tap became a breeze.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Attendance at the BorrelBunker declined, and resistance from the Faculty Board to having a bar in the depths of the Gorlaeus grew. In April 2009, the BorrelBunker received its final invoice from Heineken, and in September of the same year, the BorrelBunker closed its doors for good. This decision was made under one strict condition: the students had a certain right over the past 15 years, which they were not willing to give up easily. In exchange for closing the BorrelBunker, a new bar would be created, ultimately just 50 meters away from the initial idea of having a bar. In this regard, much has been preserved: the tap from the BorrelBunker is now in the Foobar in the Snellius building, the mobile tap is mobile again, and for gatherings, we can go to the FooBar.