25 May 2021

Give freshmen a physical introduction

"As long as it's not about corona again", I hear almost everyone around me think when I talk about the upcoming summer holidays. I'm sorry, but I'm going to bring the c-word to your attention again. Around these weeks, about a year ago, thousands of people enrolled for a study program at our Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. These new students, in large numbers, have never been to campus. The major culprit for this unimaginable situation is the government policy that followed the outbreak of the coronavirus in the spring of 2020.

This week literally introduces you to the beginning of the rest of your life

One of the consequences of this policy was the lack of a physical induction period in which new students could meet each other. I cherish warm memories of this week in August. During these days you get to know people you will soon count among your closest friends. You see for the first time where you are going to spend the next few years of your life. In short, this week literally introduces you to the beginning of the rest of your life.

However, the lack of meeting with fellow students and the campus is a problem that can be solved. Higher education is slowly re-opening and vaccination rates are steadily rising. What could be better than to take a new opportunity to make this happen? A new summer is upon us and it looks like it will be different from last year.

In the coming weeks, let's look at what is possible for these students and how we can ensure that our freshmen can catch up on their well-deserved introduction. The main responsibility for setting up this plan lies with the Vrije Universiteit organisation. It is important that - just as with a regular introduction week - our associations are sufficiently supported to assist in setting up a day programme during this week. The first steps for setting up this week have been taken, but time is running out and it looks like the organisation wants to hand over the initiative too much. In order to make a successful introduction period, the words spoken by the organisation about the importance of a social campus must be followed. The social campus our first years start with is a physical introduction; let's all make sure that this introduction can become a reality.

Rutger Selier

TOP, National Student Participation



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