The introduction for new students from Radboud University, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN) and Wageningen University this year is just a shadow of the normally so vibrant and grand introduction. Forced by the corona crisis, HAN goes furthest in this. In the last week of August, this was completely limited to an introduction from behind the screen with, for example, meet and greets and online games for students.
Sports day with app
Although the physical meeting at the Radboud intro, from 23 to 26 August, continues on a limited scale, a digital program is also the main focus here. For this, a special app is launched that makes it possible to exercise behind the laptop. This replaces the central sports day with usually 5,000 freshmen. The first-year students of Wageningen University must also count on sparse meeting days. For safety, the choice was made to split the introduction into two terms: from 13 to 16 August and from 18 to 21 August. Well-known activities such as the cantus, street theater, city commissions, open-air film screening and closing party have been canceled.
“Parties are over”
Radboud University is abandoning the traditional three-day introduction weekend just across the border in Germany. “All parties are a bit off,” says introduction coordinator Dionne Aldus. “But you can still book a table with a mentor group at a restaurant in Nijmegen or have a picnic in the park or play football.” “A while ago, a working group started preparing for this special intro, and it was decided at an early stage to stick to online activities,” explains a HAN spokeswoman. The cabinet has now relaxed the rules somewhat. “But there are also exams to be passed. And we still think the risk is too great. That is why we stayed with the leaner interpretation.”
As a plaster on the wound (Dutch saying), HAB PAB students can count on a surprise box that will be delivered at home. Via social media channels, students can also get to know study, student and student sports associations and what Arnhem and Nijmegen have to offer as (student) cities. The physical meetings of Radboud University will be less massive and will be more spread across the city. Normally they are organized on campus and in the city center only. There will be a collective closure on 26 August in the form of an intro market in the Goffertpark with between 120 and 180 information stalls. ,,But this will be a flow-through event where a time slot is used. Without the usual catering and stages.”
In order to prevent the introduction weeks from developing into corona fires, the municipalities of Arnhem, Ede, Rheden and Wageningen have meanwhile contacted their educational institutions and student associations. That says Carol van Eert, acting chairman of the Gelderland-Midden Safety Region. “The specific target group that peaks somewhat with the current increasing number of infections is mainly that of the younger generation. That is why this is one of the activities that we monitor more closely.”