Eating & Drinking

Happy birthday Mensa Academica!

Mensa Academica opened its doors for the first time on 18 May 1920 - this day was supposed to be celebrated in a big way in the context of the 100th anniversary of the Studierendenwerk Aachen. In times of Corona, however, the birthday child will have to get along without guests.

There, where the smell of waffles is already perceptible at the entrance area, the doors are still closed due to Corona. Studierendenwerk certainly did not ask for such a quiet 100th birthday for its main dining hall, the foundation stone of which was laid on 18 May 1920 with the first public student dining hall. "We actually wanted to celebrate this day with the students", regrets CEO Dirk Reitz. "It is an important date, because the foundation of the first dining hall is the foundation for the history of today's Studierendenwerk. It was the beginning of the social student support in Aachen, which has developed over the decades and is now indispensable at the university location."

The history of the dining hall begins after the First World War. Economic difficulties induced lecturers and professors to found the student support organization "Studentenwohl Aachen e. V.", the precursor of today's Studierendenwerk. This organization was to take care of the social needs of the approximately 1,000 students returning from war. As one of the first dining halls in Germany, a provisional "Mensa academica" with five employees is set up in the Talbot-Halle, a gym at Schinkelstraße.

Due to the corona pandemic, all university dining halls have been closed since 19 March until further notice. When Mensa Academica will be able to receive its guests again depends on the order of the State Government. All celebrations and programs for the 100th anniversary had to be postponed. The historic anniversary exhibition at Pontwall, which was planned to open next week and which also shows the transformation of Mensa Academica in many pictures, will probably not be shown until 2021.

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