Everything about 60 years of VSAE
The year 1963 was a wonderful year. An exciting year. The year in which the Beatles had their first big moments, Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech and the Russians sent the first woman to space. Famous people like Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jordan, Johnny Depp first opened their eyes that year, and the list goes on. It was also the year of the killing of US president John F. Kennedy and the founding of the VSAE.
And it’s this that brings us all together 60 years after that memorable moment. To celebrate the anniversary of the VSAE we decided to tell you something about it’s origin. We’re no historians, but we tried our best to uncover the untold tale of the association you all think you know. Some of it relies on stories told on from generation on generation and might not be completely correct.
As you now all know we start telling our story in 1963. It was a cold spring evening when A.J. Thomas, R.J. Kloek, H.G. van Doorne, A.M. de Mey and A. Rutgers walked out of the Roeterseiland Library Learning Centre and past the Krater. Tired of their Econometrics 1 assignments and complaining about a lack of togetherness of their colleagues in the Actuarial Sciences and Econometrics programme.
While drinking a beer at The Roeter they looked at other associations and decided that this could no longer go on. They would be the ones to found the base of what is now the warmest and most exciting study association of The Netherlands
Years passed but getting a group of people to unite appeared to be harder than initially thought. The number of activities stayed low and the need to drink was not yet present these days. Study associations were meant for studying and even the yearly party at club Nyx wasn’t a big success.
The VSAE experienced a steady growth. Sponsors were found and a partnership with the SEF ( Now SEFA ) created a bigger network. The opportunities for trips increased and businesses and banks were among the regular hosts of these excursions. The need for physical activities grew and sports and gaming events were starting to happen more frequently as well.
The 80’s started perfectly. Lots of fun social activities were organized, study opportunities evolved and the first partnerships started, giving the VSAE a budget. For reference: the budget of the VSAE in 1984 was 1500 guilders (about the same in euros today). One small issue: a high percentage of members was male. The study association of Spanish had the opposite problem, therefore we organized most events together.
The late 1980’s were a heavy period. Thanks to the oil-crisis and the death of John Lennon the number of members decreased to an all-time minimum of 8 and the future of the VSAE looked dark and non-existing. This led to a change in policies. The VSAE temporarily merged with EEFA (now SEFA), granting enough members to survive. This, however, led to the next big chapter.
In 1993, the VSAE registered at the KVK and opened a new bank account, becoming more commercially active. More career oriented events turned out to be a great source of income and the VSAE started thriving. This extra income led to the possibility of hosting open-bar borrels, which is still one of the best parts about the VSAE.
In the early 2000’s, we were mainly an actuarial sciences and operational management association, only a small part of our students studied econometrics (±20%). This was about to change, as econometrics currently has a stake of around 80% of all our students.
The financial crisis of 2007 showed the world the importance of proper risk management and the demand for good actuaries and econometricians increased drastically.
Another reason the VSAE has grown so quickly since then was introduced by the university: By adding an English track to both Actuarial Sciences and Econometrics & OR, we started welcoming international students as well. In 2016, a special committee for them was founded, the international committee, which is the integration committee today. The English track turned out to be so successful, that the Dutch studies were scrapped entirely in 2018.
While the number of Econometrics students grew, the number of OR students steadily declined and in 2019, this track was completely scrapped by the UvA. The academic space freed by scrapping this track was filled by introducing Business Analytics.
Nowadays, the VSAE is home to almost 2000 members, with both Dutch and international students, and almost a 50/50 division of men/women. We came from just a few students wanting to hang out, and are now a full active association with tons of different activities for anyone. With this past, and even further growth we’re facing now, we can be absolutely certain there’s a bright future ahead of us