via 's first predecessor is the Amsterdam Association of Physics Students (AVNS), founded on September 1st, 1953. This association was not only for physicists, but also for math students. Since 1981 it was also for students of the newly founded computer science course. AVNS was renamed to WEIS on December 18th, 1989 due to declining numbers of physics students and an increase in the number of math and computer science students. The other mother association, Panta Rhei, was founded on July 10, 1991 by Business Information Studies students.
via has existed since August 7th, 2001 and originated from two mother associations. The two associations that were merged into via were the two study associations WEIS (Mathematics and Computer Science Students) and Panta Rhei. Panta Rhei was home to information science students, to be precise it contained the studies business information systems, information management, and social science computer science.
In May 2001 two important general assemblies took place: one from Panta Rhei and one from WEIS. The plans for the merge were presented during these assemblies. The reasons for a merge were the already intensive collaboration between the two associations, the connecting target groups of both associations and the stimulation from the faculty.
In 1995, the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science (FWI) and the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy (FNS) merged into the Faculty of WINS. However, in 2001 it was already done with this faculty and it was incorporated into a new faculty: the Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science (FNWI), as we know it today. As a result of this change, the Faculty of WINS put pressure on Panta Rhei and WEIS to merge and to only focus on students of the Education Institute of Information Sciences. NSA, which had been around for a long time, would then include the math students. WEIS spoke in her (presumably the last) general assembly about the new association and that the advantage of a new association is that they “only have to serve students from one institute, can organize things on a broader scale and will therefore have a wider range of activities. Since there are also few overlapping activities, few things will disappear. Another important reason is that a new start can be made. ” Panta Rhei, however, did not speak in her general assembly about benefits, but about conditions. For example, they absolutely wanted a room to work, because the former basement of study association WEIS is “mainly used for informal matters”. WEIS also set conditions, such as the preservation of their room: de Kelder.
But how did they get the name via? The same minutes of WEIS also mention a name for the new association. The majority of WEIS people disagreed with the name "InForScience". Therefore, a competition was organized for members of WEIS and Panta Rhei for the new name. Which options were available and who ultimately came up with via is unfortunately unknown, as is the designer of the logo.
Ultimately, the merge was also voted on at those same meetings. Remarkably, WEIS has passed the proposal to merge, subject to the conditions being met, by 8 votes in favor, 1 vote against and 6 abstentions. We can therefore say that WEIS was not very enthusiastic about a merge. Apparently, they found 15 attendees sufficient for such a decision. This was quite different with Panta Rhei; the entire ALV was positive about a merge. This was a total of 15 votes, but according to the minutes there were 12 people at the ALV, so maybe it was 12. After all, by e-mail there was 1 vote against, but even then there was a large majority. The difference between these two moods could be that less changed for Panta Rhei. They did not have to divest one of the studies as was the case with WEIS. However, no explanations of the voting have been recorded, making this unclear.
On August 7th, 2001, it finally happened. Jair Hokstam and Uri Roos have statutes recorded at the notary. The association was then called the Amsterdam Information Sciences Association (V.I.A). Information science with a small letter. The new board members of the first board of via were the same Jair and Uri together with Rik Willemsen. Finally, Panta Rhei and WEIS were officially dissolved in 2002 or 2003.
However, according to the Google Calendar of via, via was founded on August 6th instead of on the 7th. If the founding general assembly went through August 6th, this could indeed be the case. Unfortunately, no minutes have been found, so we may never find out whether we have existed since the 6th or 7th.