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A Brief History of Scintilla

In 2015, Scintilla celebrated 50 years of existence. A lot of things have happened since the establishment of the association in 1965. Rich traditions were born that have shaped not only the history of Scintilla, but also that of the University of Twente. We have collected some historic moments from the extensive history of the association and the UT.

1961 - Establishment Technische Hogeschool Twente

The University of Twente was established on the 23rd of November, 1961. Originally, the educational institution was named Technische Hogeschool Twente. Her Majesty Queen Juliana opened the THT on September 14th, 1964.

There were only 4 departments in the early days of the UT; Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and General Sciences.

Figure 1: Juliana

Figure 1: Juliana

1965 - Establishment E.T.S.V. Scintilla

A number of Electrical Engineering students united and established the study association for Electrical Engineering on the 9th of September, 1965. The name ‘Scintilla’ was convincingly chosen over others after a vote at the general meeting.

In the first few years the association focussed on organizing small symposia where speakers would gather to discuss recent Electrical Engineering related developments.

Figure 2: Voting

Figure 2: Voting

1969 - Scintilla receives royal recognition

On the 12th of December, 1969, Queen Juliana grants royal recognition to the association. The document with the recognition can still be found in Scintilla’s association room.

1970 - Expansion of the THT

Next to the four ‘original’ departments, the THT was expanded with new study programmes in 1970, such as applied mathematics and applied physics. In addition, several non-bèta degrees were introduced.

1970 - S.c.v.m.d.d.v.s.h.g. Arago founded

With the new applied physics degree (that was back in those days closely tied to Electrical Engineering) several physics students wanted to start their own association. The board of Scintilla interpreted this as a need for a new committee that would be involved with this new Electrical Engineering movement called phsyics, hence it established s.c.v.m.d.d.v.s.h.g. Arago, the committee for people who chose the wrong study.

1971 - Establishment of Scintilla’s committee for component sales

The need for supply of electronic components for study and hobby projects resulted in the establishment of a committee that would handle component sales. ‘Commissie Componenten Verkoop Scintilla’ is the predessessor of the STORES and was founded in 1971.

Figure 3: Electrical Engineering student

Figure 3: Electrical Engineering student

1974 - First Batavierenrace from Nijmegen to Enschede

The Batavierenrace that still followed the route Nijmegen-Rotterdam in 1973 was remapped in 1974 to follow the route Nijmegen-Enschede. This race is still being ran on a yearly basis. Scintilla’s president traditionally runs the last stage.

Figure 4: Batavierenrace 1975

Figure 4: Batavierenrace 1975

1982 - Publishment of the first ‘Vonk’

In 1982, Scintilla published two try-out versions of an association magazine called ‘de Vonk’. The editions turned ou to be a success and paved the way to the 36 years in which the Vonk has been published up to now.

Figure 5: First Vonk cover

Figure 5: First Vonk cover

1986 - THT changes name to Universiteit Twente

With the national establishment of Technical Highschools (HBO), the Technische Hogeschool Twente changed name to Universiteit Twente to prevent confusion.

1989 - Campusnetwork in use

The big computer network of the UT was first used in 1989. Back in the days the network comprised a rough 2000 connections.

1989 - Scintilla introduces the cantus in Twente

A delegation of Scintilla members was invited to a cantus in Leuven, Belgium, in 1989. They were seriously impressed by this amazing combination of discussing, singing and drinking beer.

In September 1989, Scintilla hosted the first cantus in Twente.

Figure 6: First Cantus Bundel

Figure 6: First Cantus Bundel

1990 - 5th lustrum of E.T.S.V. Scintilla

In October 1990, Scintilla celebrated 25 years of existence. This ‘lustrum of the lustra’ was full of activities, such as a concert, an attempt to break the record for putting as many people in the car ‘de Eend’ as possible and of course a lustrumcantus.

Next to the fun activities, there was also a symposium with many interesting speakers.

Figure 7: Logo of the 5th lustrum of E.T.S.V. Scintilla.

Figure 7: Logo of the 5th lustrum of E.T.S.V. Scintilla.

1990 - Establishment of the STORES

Scintilla’s committee for component sales changed into Scintilla’s Trading-Organization for Reduced-priced Electronics and Study-needs in 1990. The STORES still sells a wide range of electronic components today and is one of the biggest committees of Scintilla.

Figure 8: Logo of the STORES

Figure 8: Logo of the STORES

1991 - Establishment of SCALA

Scintilla’s commissie voor allerlei leuke activiteiten (committee for all kinds of likeable activities) started in 1991. Over the years, SCALA has established many traditional activities, such as the EEFBA, Christmas Dinner and computer destruction.

1997 - Scintilla launches its first website

The first website of Scintilla was launched in 1997. It contained information on activities, the STORES, the study and had an exam database.

Figure 9: Scintilla’s website in 1997.

Figure 9: Scintilla’s website in 1997.

2001 - Reorganisation of the faculties

The University of Twente executed an impactful reorganisation of the faculties in 2001. The number of different faculties was reduced to only 5 of which the new faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science was one. As a result of this new division, Scintilla eventually relocated to the Zilverling along with Abacus and Inter-Actief. This relocation brought an end to multiple decades with Arago in the Hogenkamp.

Figure 10: The Zilverling building in 2002

Figure 10: The Zilverling building in 2002

2002 - Bastille is handed over to the Student Union

As of 2002, the Student Union is responsible for the Bastille building. The Union represents most student bodies of the UT and has several committees that help the board with its tasks, such as the management of the Bastille.

2002 - Fire in the TWRC building

On the 20th of November, 2002, a large part of the TWRC building burnt down. The fire destroyed sections A and D of the building. When the name of the building changed to Cubicus, the sections B and C were preserved in memory of the old building.

2006 - Publication of the compendium

In 2006, several people at Scintilla published a compendium with relevant knowledge for electrical engineers.

2006 - Protocol de Jong

Back in 2005, a treasurer turned out to be quite the fan of a nice bottle of wine. Of course, red wine had the preference as red is the traditional colour of Scintilla. He developed a standardized way to enjoy a bottle of wine with the entire board. This rich tradition is still present within the association and is the preferred way to consume a bottle of wine with the Scintilla board.

2007 - Establishment Stichting Borrelbeheer Zilverling

In 2007, several associations combined their strengths in the organization of the drinking rooms and the acqusition of drinks. The Abscint and MBasement are being managed by SBZ.

2010 - IKEL becomes SKIC

The committee responsible for the organization of the introductional camps for new students in Electrical Engineering changes to its new name in 2010.

2012 - The Electrical Engineering programme switches to English

The Electrical Engineering programme staff implemented the language change in 2012. English as the primary language at Dutch universities remains a hot topic, even today. With only 4 programmes left that are being taught in Dutch, the change in language has been thorough. Question remains if the language impacts the quality of the programmes; the UT is facing several parties in court that are convinced that this development poses a threat.

2013 - Introduction of the Twente Educational Model

In 2013, the UT introduced the TEM after a few pilots in which the Electrical Engineering programme took part. The UT wanted to educate its students to the professionals that can add new knowledge to their area of expertise through a critical and curious attitude.

2015 - 10th lustrum of E.T.S.V. Scintilla

2015 marks the 50th year since Scintilla’s establishment in 1965. The many activities made the lustrum a success, even the first board made its appearance.

Figure 11: Logo of the 10th lustrum

Figure 11: Logo of the 10th lustrum

2017 - Start renovation building the Hogekamp

After several years of vacancy, the UT has repurposed the Hogekamp building as a student hotel. The old home of Scintilla and Arago will be renovated over the course of 2017 and 2018 to include several studio’s for students and the Drienerburght hotel.

2017 - 100th Cantus Scintillae

After the succesful introduction of the Cantus to Twente in 1989, 2017 marks the 100th edition of this festive activity. In the 30 years since the first edition, other associations have taken over the example set by Scintilla. In addition, the Cencores Cantus Scintillae has recently published already the 3rd edition of the Codex Scintillae.

2018 - Scintilla study tour to China

Every couple of years, Scintilla organizes a large trip to several foreign destinations. The study tour allows students to visit companies and universities abroad and is partly being financed by executing business cases. The 2018 edition of the study tour will be visiting China.

Other examples of trips that are being organized by Scintilla on a frequent basis are the EEMCS-trip to a European destination and the skiing trip to a ski resort.

2018+ - Future plans

Several longer running projects are being worked on, such as a new website for the association.

What will the future bring?

Scintilla is thriving. The past 50 years have shaped an association that is supporting its members in their education and business orientation and is offering students a second home. Long term policy plans are ensuring that Scintilla will continue fulfilling this role for the near and not-so-near future and we as the 88th board are longingly looking forward to what future boards will bring.

But whatever the future may bring, it is important that we frequently look back at what has been accomplished in the past. We hope that the next 50 years will be as thriving as the past half century has been.