Tight schedules for the Introduction Week

How to welcome 3,000 new students at TU/e during a period in which 1.5-meter distance is the new standard? The Bachelor's Introduction Week and Master Kick-Off have been adjusted in such a way that it’s still manageable. There will be many online activities, but also a few days with physical visits to the campus. After the Introduction Week, attention will still be paid to a feeling of unity among all new students.

The prospective students won’t attend a great festival at a compact Green Strip, where they will explore how many student associations the TU/e actually has. There won’t be a distribution of 18- wrist bands as well, because there won’t be any parties at all. The TU/e tries everything within their reach to give a warm welcome to its new students. The Bachelor's Introduction Week and Master kick-off will have a hybrid model: all contact will be digital for three days, and the remaining time will be spend on-campus. With split groups and tight schedules to keep social distancing. Safety first!


The Central Introduction Committee imagined this job a little bit different. Siem Beeks, together with Charlot Felderhof responsible for the communication around the Introduction Week, perceives pros and cons. “Our role was primarily focused on execution. There’s a script that is being finetuned every year, also as a result of the experiences of former boards.” But due to corona, more needs to be done than just a few small adjustments: “Suddenly, the majority of the Introduction Week has to be held online, and everything that we want to do on campus has to comply with the safety regulations. We’ll have to deal with more parties, and we’ll gain more responsibility. Everything is new, and we’re still students, not an event agency.”

It’s difficult, and it’s a real pity that the party-feeling, which makes the Introduction Week so enjoyable, disappears, but Beeks gets something in return for his hard work: “I personally find it very interesting to see how a huge company like the TU/e deals with those sudden changes,” states the Industrial Engineering student, “It’s super instructive to see how many parties with different interests are actually involved and how we have to find compromises." 

No sleeping mats

Prospective freshmen are allowed on campus twice, master students once. The CIC will split the group (they are expecting to receive approximately 2,100 and 800 students) in half in order to reduce the crowdedness on campus and in the buildings. To keep an eye on the pressure of the Introduction Week on the city of Eindhoven, bachelor students won’t visit the campus two days in a row. Beeks explains: “We would like to prevent that the students’ residents bulge with students who don’t have their own room yet. We took the website, Crashplace, offline that previously facilitated the sleepovers.”

Even public transport has to be taken into account. “We are going to make sure that the students who’ll attend orientation will use their own means of transportation or will be dropped off by parents. We’ll assign a Kiss&Ride spot, obviously now without the kiss.”

The first day that the students will be on campus, the Campus Market will be held - divided over eight fields across the entire campus terrain. This is a replacement for the Green Strip Market that was previously held, a big festival at which sports- and cultural student associations presented itself and recruited new members. It’ll be a one-way walking route. If a question pops to mind after visiting a certain association, you can’t go back, but you’ll have to look up the association’s information online.

The second day of physical visitations will be devoted to business cases at students’ associations, workshops organized by sports- and cultural associations and the student fraternities, which are at a walking distance from the TU/e campus. “Unfortunately, rowing club Thêta is too far way now,” states Beeks.

The Onboarding Committee

The TU/e is absolute aware of the fact that giving a warm welcome to new students doesn’t stop when the Introduction Week is over. Therefore, the committee Onboarding has been created, and it has been decided that student mentors will be recruited for the master students, just as is being done for the bachelor students. These will be fellow students, who will get a student assistant role to guide prospective students for the whole academic year. They have a different role than the Introduction Week's ‘moms and dads’ and the teacher mentors.

Paul Koenraad, who’s the dean of the Graduate School, states how he imagines this for the new master’s students. “During the first semester, the focus will be on making sure that the new students feel at home and are becoming familiar with the TU/e, Career prep, employability as we call it here, will be addressed throughout the year. We definitely hope that a feeling of unity will arise, but we know that this won’t be easy. Each and every one at TU/e has to cooperate.”

Call for student mentors and buddies

Are you interested in becoming a student mentor for bachelor or master students next year? Please send an email to the academic advisor of your department. Would you like to become an introduction buddy during the Introduction Week from August 17 until August 21, with an additional introduction buddy’s day on August 15th? Then please get in touch with your own study association. You’ll accompany the new students both online and offline throughout the Introduction Week.

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