Intro 2020 | Social student associations all go online

Due to corona, the Intro needed some serious adjustments and there are far fewer physical meetings. In the run-up to the press conference of August 6, the entire introduction week even seemed to have to be canceled, but the Central Introduction Committee only had to make minor adjustments. However, the consequences for social student associations are much greater. For example, the club houses cannot open to potential new members and the parties cannot continue as usual. But SSRE, the Eindhovens Studenten Corps and DEMOS refuse to let their heads hang low and come up with creative alternatives to still be able to interest the intro kids for their associations.

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photo Aya Bergkamp

The central program, which is taking place partly online and partly on the campus, differs little from the original plans, says Siem Beeks of the Central Introduction Committee (CIC) “There was never any question anyway of having the City Tour in this year’s program. But we have had to scrap the barbecue in the master’s Intro. While it would have complied with the rules, we decided to toe the line being asked of the student houses and associations; they aren’t allowed to hold barbecues.”

In addition, all the plans made by the associations were reviewed once more, explains Beeks. This resulted in a number of activities that were more about having fun than conveying information being withdrawn from the program. “What’s more, we have hired some extra security staff, so that every green space on the campus can have its own security officer and, in addition, other officers can rotate between the various locations.” One of their tasks will be to help enforce the one-meter-fifty rule, he says. “Together with the organizers and volunteers – but in the first instance responsibility for this lies with the participants themselves.”

Live stream with music

Guus Vogelaar, secretary of E.S.V. DEMOS says that their intro plans have changed considerably due to corona. During the Intro, the club house on the Keizersgracht is allowed to be open, “but only for members and under strict conditions. For that reason we chose to not open at all during the Introduction week. Fortunately, we have enough options to show our association to prospective students. We take part in the Green Strip Market and we give workshops on campus and online. In addition, we have a live stream with music, stories and guest DJs every evening. You can also follow us on the TU/e Community Radio, and we have online games and drinks.”

For those DEMOS live streams, a special committee has even been set up to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Aya Bergkamp is one of the organizers of Dé Betere Studenten Avond, a livestream from Demos. In that team, she and a few others organize live streams that convey the atmosphere of the Introduction week parties, which cannot take place at the moment. “We initially started streaming for our members because we really missed the fun, especially when the club house had to close for a while due to corona,” Bergkamp says. “We have decided to bring the fun to an online environment to stay in touch and now we want to use that in the Introduction week as well so new students can still experience the atmosphere of such a party. The parties have always been an important part of the Introduction week to get to know student life and to meet other students. Our club house De Keizer opened again on June 1 with all the necessary safety and hygiene measures and everything on a small scale. It is very different from what it used to be but it is really nice to be able to see each other again.”

Pull-through Thursday

The live streams will be available via Twitch every day during the introduction week from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on Thursdays until 7 a.m. The tradition of ‘Pull-through Thursday’ is preserved in this way. There are also video calls via Zoom where interaction with the viewers is possible. The promotion is done via Instagram (@debeterestudentenavond) and there you can keep track of everything that is happening.

Corona-safe at SSRE

Also at a.s.v. SSRE a number of activities had to be changed to be able to offer everything in a safe way, corona-wise. “Recruiting new members is going to be more difficult this year,” says Anna Hoogeveen, secretary of SSRE. “Normally you talk to people a lot during the Intro, but that is more limited now. We are focusing much more on online recruitment, and we use a lot of social media. Kiddos can still get to know the association. Usually there is a party every evening at our society on the Vestdijk, with decoration and artists. Unfortunately those parties had to be cancelled, but they have been replaced by online activities. Every evening there is one where members and introkiddos come into (digital) contact with each other. They can play games and chat online."

The campus market takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday. "We’ll be on a large field and the kids can come by. Games can be played at a distance of one and a half meters, all safe against corona. And Thursday and Friday are the workshop days of the intro program in which we are also involved. We have, for example, a workshop hangover cooking and an online escape room. ” A Discord server allows participation in the online activities. Interested introkiddos can get the link by contacting SSRE.

Added value

At the Eindhovens Studenten Corps (E.S.C), this Intro is also different from other years. President of the Senate of the E.S.C Hidde Fokkelman says that the society on Ten Hagestraat does not have to be closed completely during the Intro, but the rules are so strict (open until 10 p.m., only for members and no alcohol) that it unfortunately is not possible to give introkids a physical tour now. “That's a shame because that tour normally gives a good sense of ​​where the kids end up when they join the association. The Intro takes place in a very limited form this year, but that’s just the way it is.”

The corps tries to make the most of it: “During the things that can continue, like the campus market, we try to profile ourselves as well as possible. In addition, we were able to arrange with the TU/e that we may give a presentation in the Markthal on Tuesday and Wednesday after the campus market, at 9.30 pm. This is in collaboration with our umbrella association Compositum and the other social student associations. We are very happy that this is possible.”

In addition, the E.S.C will also stream like the other social associations, but in its own way. “The 'Become a member party' takes place Friday evening at 9:00 p.m. via MS Teams (link will be announced later). We will then create a kind of ‘living room-like concept’,” Fokkelman says. “There is a general room where a kiddo first enters to get an introduction to the association and there are also several rooms (channels) where kiddos can join and ask specific questions. For example, there will be a channel for committees and one for the sports clubs of the society, because yes, they also have their own hockey team and a soccer team for example. In this way we try to show the introkiddos, as well as possible, the added value of our association, besides studying."

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