History Semper Florens

Semper Florens
Then we finally arrive at our current association, Semper Florens, which means ‘always flowering’ in Latin. In 1999 the boards of WSV Navantus and Optima Flora met. They had been informed that in a few years their studies would merge again, because of a lack of students. Both associations informed their members and started preparing to merge. On the 13th of October 2000 the associations went to the notary to put the merge of the associations black on white in the statutes. Both WSV Navantus and Optima Flora had their last General Meeting on the 31st of October and was followed by the first general meeting of Semper Florens that same day and is therefore seen as the association its birthday. Historical decisions were made during this meeting and about half of all the members were present! The infamous comic sans logo was chosen from the two designs that members made, committees were installed and the financial situation was discussed.

The infamous comic sans logo from Semper Florens, chosen at the first General Meetings. It was meant to represent a flower and the two colours that mix represent the two previous associations that now mix.

After the first General Meeting the association consisted of 15 committees, a little over a hundred members and reunites and was stationed at the Binnenhaven 5. This ‘hok’ was described as being “dark and moist”. Several attempts were made to move to a more suitable location, but that would not be successful for several years. The joke was that there were more committees than members, because the first year of the BSc ‘Plant sciences’ only three students enrolled. However, this could not demotivate our members. The association was introduced to Wageningen with a ‘Zet de bloemetjes buiten’ party. The old stuff that the new association couldn’t use was auctioned off to members and the money was used to organise a free drink.

It was hard to keep committees filled with the lack of students, but that small size gave the students a really strong bond. This small amount of students was often participating in activities, active in several committees and even the board. Lots of activities were organized.

The board of Semper Florens often spoke with Prof. Dr. Martin Kropff to discuss strategies on how they could improve the amount of students back when he was director of the plant science group and later when he became rector magnificus. These strategies paid off, because in the mid ‘00’s the amount of students steadily started rising.

Then, in 2009, the association moved its headquarters to the new campus. Radix was a brand new plant science focussed building where our members could feel right at home. The first ‘Hok’ in radix was situated on the ground floor in the open office. The new location was celebrated with a hok warming. Our enthusiastic members were sometimes a bit of a nuisance, because this open office was shared with our hard working plant science education team.

Het Hok at the Binnenhaven. It is a mess, because the old board did a Hok trash to introduce the new board.

The welcome drink of Semper Florens in their new Hok in Radix.

In 2011 the last addition to our association was finalized. The study association of the MSc Organic Agriculture (StEL) gave its tasks to Semper Florens. Since that year Semper Florens represents the BSc Plant Sciences, MSc Plant Sciences, MSc Plant Biotechnology and MSc Organic Agriculture.

After a few years in our ‘Hok’ downstairs we were transferred to our very own office (1.050). With a few computers, cabinets and a table we were able to make this our new fertile grounds. In the summer it is horribly hot and it is rather small compared to other associations, but at least it is in our beloved Radix. It is filled with beer crates, questionably treated plants, teabags and of course a lot of plantlets.

Comic Sans was seen as an unprofessional font more and more. After the organisation of several international Comic Sans days the board decided that it was time to design a new logo. In October 2013 the new logo was presented and only one member voted against it. It was meant to combine biotechnology sector and agriculture sector, which form our association together.

The vote for the new logo in 2013 in C0092 Radix.

In 2015 the third lustrum of Semper Florens was celebrated. It was a weeklong party with numerous activities. At this moment the association had become rather large. Study years contained around 50 students at this time and continued to grow. The association and the study have grown so much these last few years that we surpassed a 1000 students in all of the plant sciences. This is partially due to the fact that the BSc Plant Siences has been declared as the best BSc in Wageningen and the Netherlands several times.

A picture taken at the chic dinner activity of the third lustrum of Semper Florens.

Even though we can’t predict the future there are several things on the horizon for Semper Florens and its members. The extended daytime schedule and the current study financing system seem to be the challenges that our association faces today. However, the future does not seem gloomy. A new honorary member (Anja Kuipers) was chosen, our fourth lustrum is coming up, Radix is still growing and our member count is continuing going up. In conclusion, we have enough years of flourishing ahead!

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