Growth of student associations demands a raffle

The national media already reported on it: student associations are incredibly popular this year. So popular that getting a spot has become a lottery. The Higher Education Press Agency reports that the increase is the greatest in Eindhoven: no less than 79 percent more members. The reason for the many registrations seems to be the limited social life of new students due to corona. Social student associations offer options to get to know new people.

The raffling of spots is a national issue at various associations, according to the Brabants Dagblad and RTL Nieuws, among others. Raffling also occurs in Eindhoven, for example at SSRE. Anna Hoogeveen, secretary of the student association: “It is true that the registrations have gone very fast, a unique situation. Thursday and Friday (of the Introduction week, ed.) a line of enthusiastic prospective freshmen formed at the registration table. When we realized that we were going to exceed our capacity, we told the people who still wanted to register that they will be on a list for the last places."

“SSRE normally has more than one hundred and fifty registrations,” Hoogeveen says, "this year there are twice as many. By drawing lots we will reduce the number of registrations to two hundred fifty. We are currently making an inventory of whether everyone who is registered actually wants to become a member. If this is not the case, we can raffle these places, so we try to keep it as fair as possible for everyone who wants to become a member.” Tonight, Monday evening, August 31, SSRE comments on the situation in the six o'clock NOS news.

Online welcome

Demos secretary Jan-Willem Melchers also sees an increase in new members: “We have about thirty extra registrations compared to previous years. Fortunately, we do not have to raffle spots, but after the Introduction week we decided to make a spare list on which late registrants could still sign up on until August 30, in order to still have a chance to get a spot within our association. Fortunately, it seems like we can digitally welcome everyone who has shown interest, tonight (Monday evening, August 31, ed.) and we are very happy with that.”

“Online education makes it more difficult to make new friends and a student association can help with that. We can also organize cozy get-togethers for our members during corona times,” Gideon Franken, president of SSRE, told the Brabants Dagblad. It is still unclear whether there will be a lot of partying at the associations: nobody can see into the future when and what will be possible again. But it is clear that the associations are trying to do everything they can to offer students a good time, even with corona limitations.

Close to the max

President of the Eindhovens Studenten Corps (ESC), Hidde Fokkelman, says that they also see a great increase in people interested to become a member. “I cannot give exact numbers yet, but we really see the increase. We don't have to raffle the spots, but we are close to our max capacity. The fact that we do not have to raffle is because we have made tight plans in which the clubhouse is open more often in order to spread the members more and have them meet in smaller groups at predetermined times. All freshmen can get to know each other and the association this way. We are still waiting for a go from the Safety Region for our plans.”

Why the increase in interest for a membership? Fokkelman: “Students had to stay home for a long time, often missed out on an exam trip or exam party, and are fed up with this situation. The coziness we offer attracts them.” And it’s not just online contact anymore. “Having a drink at the clubhouse is possible again, taking the corona measures in to account, so that everyone is 1.5 meters apart. Plans for that set up have already been approved. And yes, a good conversation over a nice beer is what many have missed.”

Share this article