In my opinion | Social distancing during Introduction Week
This is what I felt after watching how the Introduction Week went last week. I know that this week is important for bachelor’s students, enabling them to get to know the campus and to get to know each other by forming groups. But it is quite a challenge to organize such a social event at this difficult time.
The students and the organizers tried their best to observe social distancing while walking around the campus and buildings, but they couldn’t do so while playing games. I felt that it was a really bad idea to organize light-hearted sports and competitions during a pandemic.
TU/e should have limited Introduction Week to showing the new students around the campus and buildings. I saw people playing and sitting really close to each other just as they would under normal circumstances, and as if they had completely forgotten about COVID-19.
People were dancing, playing, nattering, and doing many other things that are completely unacceptable as the 1.5m rule was not being followed. None of these people had masks ON and a few people had cut holes in their masks so they could take a drink.
I know all of them are quite young and possibly immune to the virus, but I didn’t expect this kind of behavior from either the students or the organizers. It clearly shows that the second wave of infections has started in the Netherlands and events like Intro may well contribute to it in the coming days.
TU/e has imposed strict restrictions on employees who come to the university, but it looked like it took little safety precautions during Intro Week except for the fences, which didn’t help at all. In my opinion, TU/e and (or) the organizers failed to follow the COVID-19 rules. I know the university authorities are sometimes strict about the rules, but this time they simply were not.
Raja Gajjela, PhD candidate PSN group, Department of Applied Physics