Our History

“It is not about the destination, it is all about the journey”

So come read about the journey of Amino below 🙂

The idea to found U.L.S.V. Amino started in the academic year 2016-2017, when a few students felt like MLSers had no place of their own, as they had to choose between UBV and Proton, the study associations of Biology and Chemistry. Bart Lodder, Remy Muts and Tim van der Plas came into contact with one another after they each had contacted the study coordinator inquiring about an association for MLS. Together, they decided to create our association, and they searched for other enthusiastic students that also wished to help create a community for our study.

Facebook post by Remy looking for MLS students who wished to be part of the founding board of the association

“I still remember when signing up, it was during the Biology wintersport trip, I was sitting in the bus next to a sleeping Remy busy writing my motivational letter with why I should be part of the founding board”

Demian van Gurp; Founding board & Vice treasurer and Commissioner of internal affairs of the Ist board

So, a group of nine students was formed (Bart Lodder, Tim van der Plas, Remy Muts, Felix Bindt, Oscar Bril, Demian van Gurp, Lennart Pagani, Chanel Sam and Maxim Schalkwijk) and those students went on to become the founding board of U.L.S.V. Amino. Survey and interest forms were sent out and it was found out that a study association for MLS was in very high demand (>90% support from MLS students). That was all the motivation the founding board needed to make Amino happen.

“As someone deeply involved in Molecular life sciences (MLS), the creation of a study association for MLS felt just as likely as the coming together of amino acids to form a tertiary structure in a protein” .

Bart Lodder; Chair of the founding board

This process may sound easy when you are reading about it, but, like the origin of the first cell, this took time, and it was a very long administration process. The board started working on essential aspects of an association. A Facebook group was created where the name Amino was chosen via voting. Did you know that our association could also have been called Grex, Nucleus or L.U.C.A. (Last Universal Common Ancestor)? The board started writing of the Articles of Association and the Rules of Procedure. A pre-General Assembly of Members was organised, to discuss important things about the association. House rules were made and a house style was developed. A milestone in our association was our first Amino Room. At the very beginning Amino got a room in the Kruyt Building (Kruyt N403), which was called KruyK (sounds as a jug/heating pad in Dutch). This made the life of the board much easier, as the association had a central place from which it could provide for its members. On September 4, 2017, Bart and Oscar stepped out of the founding board, as they had just started their master, and as a result the first ever board of Amino was formed, consisting of seven members in total. On October 24, 2017 the board organized the very first Amino activity ever, a pub crawl through Utrecht! The activity attracted 45 MLS students and made the association visible to many others. You can still see the poster of the Pubcrawl hanging above all other posters in the Amino Room. During this period, the board also started to form committees for the association, so that MLSers could participate and organise activities for their fellow students. And so the first 5 committees of Amino were also set up: the EnerCie, ImpresCie, PrimeCie, SynapCie, and TipCie.

As Amino grew, it became increasingly important to have good communication with the University. The founding board had a lot of meetings about the added value of Amino and the belief that it could stand on its own two feet. On May 14, 2018 the board decided to go for it and sign Amino’s articles of association! Amino and MLSers were very happy, as they went to celebrate it on June 20, 2018 at the founding borrel! Because the association was now officially registered, this was the first time ever Amino was able to have official members, and so the first moment where students registered for the association was at the founding borrel. Mebiose also attended the fouding borrel and they very kindly donated 33,33 euros to us (as they were the 33rd board). With this, the association was established and it was running well, and the collaboration with the departments and the faculty became more concrete after the foundation. Around this time Douwe started working on our website, as he build the whole Amino site on his own when he was just a member of the association. And soon enough the time of the first board was getting to an end, and it was time for them to look for successors. Chanel decided that she was going to do another board year, mostly so that the new board could have all the knowledge from the first board, so that the association could run smoothly. It was hoped for the first board that others were crazy enough to take over the association from them. Fortunately, there were! And so the first candidate board of Amino was born, which soon became the second board of U.L.S.V. Amino.

“Passing Amino on to a next board was genuinely a difficult task. It takes a lot of confidence to let go of something you’ve worked so hard to get where it is now. In this I can say that we could not have made a better decision. The new boards have continued to build Amino and earn the trust we have given them”

Bart Lodder; Chair of the founding board

From that moment on, everything at Amino went very fast, the association became more stable, more activities were organized, and committees and taskforces were added, as the association grew into what we know today! At the end of the academic year, the second board managed to arrange a better Amino room for the members. This room, number 1.05 in the Caroline Bleeker building, was opened in the new academic year (2019-2020). You can see the first pictures taken of the room:

Lastly, an important piece of our history should be mentioned. 12 augustus 2019, on this day, we aquired one of the most important peace of furniture we now have at the Amino Room … The Pooltable <3. Around this time, the current board, together with the old board and the candidate board, had a vote to decide whether Amino should get a foosball table or a pool table. Gladly, the pooltable won, making us a unique association with our private pooltable. The table was found online with a discount, as due to an accident 10 tables fell out of a truck on the highway and got damaged. And what was that a happy accident for us. The boards did not waste any time and together the first and second board managed the amazing feat of getting the pooltable into the new Amino Room.

There are the countless hours of blood, sweat and tears that went into the implementation of the crazy plan 3 MLSers had many years go. During the forming of Amino, numerous study associations helped us, and we are forever thankfull to Helix, UBV, Proton, Mebiose and Vidius. We would also like to thank Syl Blad, Eric Huizinga, Paul van Bergen, Henegouwen and Anna Akmanova for the support. We are also thankful for the many MLS students who supported the foundation of this beautiful association, without our members we would only be an empty room with no fun at all.

“All in all, we are very proud of what we have achieved. As a board, we put a lot of effort into it, but we got a lot more in return. We are confident that the next boards will continue the positive line that was started. We are looking forward to the growth of this already wonderful association, we hope that Amino will continue for many and many years to come, and that if we visit the association room after a long time, there is still a photo somewhere in a corner of this great group, the first board”

Tim van der Plas; Secretary of the founding board & Chair of the Ist board of U.L.S.V. Amino