Intro 2020 | “No, it is not like before corona, but it’s fine”

Many of the boards of the study associations presenting themselves to their potential new members this afternoon on the Flux field acknowledge that this Intro has been a little different. Nonetheless, new sign-ups are trickling in – a discount on textbooks helps. And for new members there will be introductory activities after Intro. No camp, but a great bike ride, for example.

photo Han Konings

The camping trips that under normal circumstances take place shortly after Intro obviously cannot go ahead this year. But the boards of the study associations are a versatile bunch and nearly all of them have come up with a replacement activity. And one that meets the requirement of taking place in a single day, because anything involving an overnight stay is off limits.

In many cases, the chosen activity is a September bike ride through Eindhoven, where the first-years will visit the houses of whichever association is hosting them, combined with a barbecue at the end of the day. At study association Protagoras, attached to Biomedical Engineering, the barbecue will be held on the campus, tells departing board member Marlous Bood. The questions now being asked by first-years are, she feels, different from those in previous years. “For example, first-years want to know how often they will be on the campus, and roughly what form their education will take.” Matters that often weren’t yet on the minds of Intro-goers before the corona crisis.

Sharing that morning-after feeling

On a warm Flux field, Koen Hermans, the new president of study association Industria at Industrial Engineering, is happily nursing a Grolsh 0.0. In front of him stands a mentor group chugging this alcohol-free beverage. “Our After-Intro day on September 11th is already nearly sold out. We’re seeing a lot of interest in it,” Koen tells us. The number of sign-ups already stands at about seventy, but Koen expects to see a hefty increase, certainly after the bike ride through Eindhoven on September 11th. Industria too has opted for cycling followed by a meal. At this Intro, Koen is missing something of the shared suffering and hung-over feeling that typically follows the first couple of evenings. “That soon creates a strong bond in a mentor group. People really are being more tentative towards each other now. In the past, groups used to challenge each other in the first few days, but we’re seeing less of that here.” He believes the first-years are very understanding of the fact that right now some things just aren’t possible. “This Intro is certainly not like before corona, but it is still fine.”


With their outfits, Dana de Vreede and Niek Brekelmans of Thor (see the main photo above) have already created their own one-meter-fifty bubble. They are very pleased with their Electrical Engineering group. Mentorbuddies Niek and Dana and all their cubs have united under the name On-lions. “Even though today we are happily off-lions,” Niek tells us. “It’s good to see the group in the flesh today, to be able to show them the department and to get them playing games together.” Dana thinks it is impressive that all the group members are speaking English to each other, all the time. Comparing this Intro to a normal year, she says she kind of misses the “downtime”. She explains its importance. “These are the moments on Monday and Tuesday when there’s not much on the program. They are when you get to know each other well because you are left with little to do except start talking to one another. When you have only online contact, you do tend to miss out on that.”

The camping option was considered at Thor, but it probably won’t happen. Dana is thinking of organizing online things instead and, of course, a bike ride, with October the preferred month, rounded off with drinks and snacks. Thor already has a healthy number of sign-ups, “that’s partly because of the discount on textbooks you get as a Thor member,” Dana admits. For now, the shade beckons. It’s time to leave the hot Flux field, where the cubs are already waiting for more instructions and love from mom and dad.

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