Intro 2020 | Gadget mania among the superheroes at GEWIS

No, gadgets are not required, and we are seeing far fewer of them this Intro, but gadgets do add an extra frisson of fun. That’s the view at Cursor, but we’re not entirely impartial. Happily this notion has been joyfully embraced by study association GEWIS of Mathematics & Computer Science; and they’ve put a lot of thought into how gadgets fit into their super heroes theme.

photo Brigit Span

Captain Babypants, for the duration of Intro that’s the new identity of Group 28 at Computer Science, complete with mini-capes made of tulle and – the pièce de résistance – their bottoms sporting an incontinence pad. “I don’t think the ‘kids’ were very happy with my choice,” says Intro buddy Leticia Malagutti happily. She is Brazilian and in her home country the superhero Captain Underpants is big. Hey ho, those underpants were a bit difficult to buy in advance because she didn’t know the clothing sizes of her Intro kids. So pads it was.

This super heroes theme, dreamed up by the Intro Committee of study association GEWIS, has been adopted by the whole association. So the board is also spending this week kitted out in super hero outfits. “It was a surprise to us too,” says Jealy van den Aker, the GEWIS commissioner for external relations. “But it is a real leveller; it makes us very approachable.”


The Masked Heroes - group 1, led by Intro buddies Saskia IJntema and Bartjan Henkemans – all pose for a close-up, broad smiles on their faces. Protected by their masks, which they had a free hand in decorating. They have renamed themselves Toothpaste Man, The Flaming Eye, Tiny Ninja, Dark Force and The Ultimate Cry Baby. Last on this list is Intro buddy Bartjan. “My name sounds like Bart-jank if you pronounce it in English, and in Dutch ‘janken’ means ‘to cry’,” he explains. After his first close-up, a thought occurs to him. “Hold on, I need to look tearful.” No sooner said than done.

One meter fifty

Some gadgets come in handy when you’re keeping to the necessary one meter fifty. So Intro buddies Thijs van de Loo and Martijn Kessels immediately hit on the idea of a sword for their group The Shogun Cream (group 31). “This makes us samurai, ancient super heroes. They admit the swords are big, but luckily they are not heavy.

Framed happy family

What do photo frames hung around a person’s neck have to do with the super heroes theme that study association GEWIS has come up with this year? “We hope to be their superheroes this week.” Buddies Pim Boij and Jeffrey Minten of The Framed Villains (group 16) have equipped their Intro kids with a photo frame carrying their photo and the request for the child, if lost, to be returned to them. They in turn are wearing a – much bigger – frame around their necks that is intended to carry a photo of the whole group. It has been taken, but they’ve not yet been able to print it out. Now let’s just hope the Intro buddies don’t lose their way…

Broken bow

It hangs on a piece of string round the necks of the members of The Dirty Bits (group 22): a transparent plastic spiral of sorts covered in a mother-of-pearl gloss. “It serves as a bow for super heroes,” explains Intro buddy Tessa van Beers, whose own bow is already broken – clearly not made to withstand the brute strength of super heroes.

Tessa is the kind of Intro buddy who really loves her brood. “Personally, I had such a fantastic Intro years ago that I was happy to pay it forward and be an Intro buddy every year throughout my bachelor’s. And these ‘kids’ certainly deserve a great Intro; together we are going to give them the best time we can.”

Her group really needed to come onto the campus today, finally. “After two days online I could see they were beginning to flag a little. But happily we’re here now.”


Cartoon series Paw Patrol provided the inspiration for Eline Schaerlaeckens, Intro buddy for the Superpaws (group 5). Entirely in keeping with these superhounds, she provided her group with fluffy dog toys.


“My love of the film Frozen has motivated our choice of gadgets,” says Pim van Leeuwen solemnly. This Intro buddy of the Disney Princesses and his fellow buddy Jelmer Blaas adorned their kids with silver crowns, giving them the air of princesses. But what does that have to do with heroes? “They are my heroes,” exclaims Pim. Point taken. And it could always be worse. Don’t you agree?

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