Katholiek Vlaams Hoogstudentenverbond
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The KVHV (Katholiek Vlaams HoogstudentenVerbond or Catholic Flemish Students Union) is a Flemish political student society which concerns Flemish nationalism and conservatism. It accepts male and female members and has chapters in Ghent, Leuven, Antwerp, Brussels, Aalst, Kortrijk, Ostend, Sint-Katelijne-Waver and Mechelen.
In Belgium in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the dominant language for education, literature and politics was French as this was the language of the elites at the time. The majority of the people in Flanders, the northern part of the country, spoke Dutch. In the second half of the 19th century a movement started that sought to elevate the status of Dutch in society and emancipate the Flemish people. At the two universities in Flanders (the Catholic University of Leuven and the State University of Ghent) Flemish students started to organize themselves in societies. The name KVHV was first used by Flemish students in 1911, when the Vlaams Verbond (Flemish Union) was banned by the Catholic University of Leuven. The name was permanently adopted in 1923. At the same time the dominant Flemish society in Ghent, Rodenbach's Vrienden, also changed its name to KVHV.
The KVHV has four general principles, accepted by all members:
- Catholic: The KVHV is a Roman Catholic organisation. Not all members are Catholic however, and this is not a requirement for membership. Members generally have a conservative ideology.
- Flemish: the KVHV is the dominant Flemish nationalist student society together with the NSV.
- Student society: The KVHV is the publisher of the Studentencodex, a book containing songs and the rules and traditions of Flemish student societies. The KVHV itself is organised according to these rules. The most visible expression of this is the ribbon and cap worn by all members in the colors of the society.
- 'Levensbond' or bond for life: The membership of the KVHV not only consists of students, but also all alumni.
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