Royal Family visits University of Aruba and meet with students from different faculties

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(Oranjestad)— During the two-day Royal visit, His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty the Queen Maxima and Her Royal Highness Princess Amalia visited the University of Aruba, where they were presented with the faculty of Law, participated in a quiz on different topics in the Kingdom and had the opportunity to discuss with students from different faculties of the university.

Bon Dia Aruba talked with a few of the students that had the opportunity to speak with the Royal Family, as well as the Governor of Aruba and Secretary of State, Alexandra van Huffelen. They shared a bit of their discussions and about how their overall experience were.

Lianne Candelaria, a student from the faculty of Law at the university had a conversation with King Willem-Alexander. She shared that they talked about the principal of concordance, where it states that The Netherlands and the other islands in the kingdom must make sure that the law is equal for all.

She explained that there is indeed a difference between the laws on the different islands, because of religious reasons for example. However, according to the statute, the countries must try to keep the laws equal for all.

Candelaria further shared how she enjoyed her experiences with the Royals. She indicated that during the conversation with the king, the king showed support not only to her point about the laws in the island countries of the Dutch Caribbean—which he said should be adapted to those in the Netherlands, but also to the fact that these islands should work together and create new laws that they could all benefit from.

“I’m very happy to hear that from the king, because sometimes we feel that we often fade into the background, so it’s nice to hear that he is interested in working with us and that he supports us,” Candelaria added.

Keanu Maduro, student from the Social Work & Development faculty, had the opportunity to speak with the queen and princess. He shared with Bon Dia Aruba that he is surprised that the Royals had questions about voluntary work and the social field in Aruba, where he was able to share his experience as a student at the university.

“For me, it was something very new, because I’ve never had an opportunity like this. It was really cool to have that support from the queen and princess for the social field on Aruba and how they felt about it. They provided great feedback for us,” Maduro expressed.

He remarked that he explained a little about voluntary work and how it was something difficult to keep maintaining volunteers and remain active. He added that they talked about the social aspects of the field to give a small description about what this looks like compared to The Netherlands.

“They were really enjoying the conversation and they liked the information that we provided. I even took note of things, so it was overall a beautiful experience,” he indicated.

Another student that spoke to the king was Lux Grauzinis, student from the SISSTEM program. She shared with the newspaper that she and her friends, who are also in the same program, spoke to the king and the Governor of Aruba. They talked about what SISSTEM entailed, what they were doing and what the program can mean for the future of Aruba in terms of sustainability. She also shared how some students are involved in some projects and that they are receiving data that the island does not yet have, in order to obtain necessary information for a better future.

“It was an honor to be invited to speak with the Royals and the Governor, and to able to represent my school and the program in a beautiful way. It was great to get their attention on something that would normally not receive much attraction,” Grauzinis said about her experience.

Lastly, she added that the king and the governor were very receptive and the king even commented that one of his kids is considering coming to the University of Aruba, because she is interested in marine science: “it’s an interest, and he was enthusiastic to hear about those aspects of the program as well.”