Kick-In 2020: 'We focus on the things we can do'

| Jelle Posthuma

No massive parties and meetings, but an online platform and small-scale physical activities. This is what the Kick-In programme looks like this summer. ‘The physical part is still a puzzle, but we want to stimulate real life meetings as much as possible.’

Photo by: Jellien Tigelaar

The corona crisis put a stop to the regular program of the introduction week. What will the alternative Kick-In look like?

Esmay Hammink (secretary): 'The last few weeks we have been working hard on a new programme. We had to start again as a committee, because all large-scale events were cancelled until 1 September. All options were open, so to speak. We have come to a completely new approach to the introductory week - although it is not yet completely definitive. What is certain is that the Kick-In will take place from 19 to 26 August and that the bachelor and master students will be offered the same programme.’

Sabine de Winter (chairman): 'This year's Kick-In will be in a hybrid form, combining online activities with physical activities. The basis of the programme is online. It is still uncertain for us how circumstances will develop in the coming months. Will there be a second wave? Or will the measures be made even more flexible? That is why we are working hard on an online basis, in which everyone can participate, in every possible scenario. We also expect to meet the basic ingredients of the Kick-In online: providing information and organizing fun activities.’

Tell us a little more about this ‘online basis’...

Hammink: 'An application has been made. In this app, users can see what's on the program on a daily basis. All activities and information are offered integrally on this platform. Each umbrella organisation gets its own part of the day. There are also continuous live streams, and participants can chat one-on-one with the various associations in Enschede, for example during the virtual information market, the digital alternative to the opening market. In the evening there will be two DJs spinning via the live stream. This way the participants can build a party at home. Of course the livestream can't match the real parties on campus or in the city, but we're glad it can be done this way.’

What is possible with regard to physical activities?

De Winter: 'It is not possible to meet with thousands of people on campus. That's why we focus on small-scale activities. There are various ideas for this, such as a tour of the campus or in the city. We also want to look at group dining. Think for example of a picnic or a barbecue at the UT. Our wide campus is very well suited for that. The physical aspect remains a puzzle for us, but we want to make as many real life meetings as possible happen. That's part and parcel of an introductory week.’

What about the 'doegroups'?

Hammink: 'The doegroups are perhaps even more important than normal. Especially because so many small-scale activities are going to take place. The doegroep-''parents'' will have a central role. They will act as the face of the group and will have to pass on the stories about student life to the students to come. Also this year the participants can choose a doegroup themselves. In spite of the modified program, many senior students have already signed up as a doegroepouder.’

Do you offer the students the same experience as in previous years?

De Winter: 'Of course we hope we do. I am especially curious to see how the adapted programme will turn out. It won't be the same as before, but also in this set-up the participants can get to know the student life of Enschede. We mostly want to look at what is possible. That is our motto for this year's Kick-In.’

What are you going to focus on in the coming months?

Hammink: 'The basis of the programme is online, and that part stands. Now we're going to focus on the physical part. What is possible in August? Can we have dinner on campus, for example? We are busy discussing this with the Campus & Facility Management (CFM) department. They have the knowledge, we have the plans. Also on the last day of the general program, Sunday, nothing is planned yet. This way we keep room for an extra - if possible larger - physical activity.’

What about the students who have to deal with travel restrictions?

De Winter: 'For them, our online platform offers the solution. Still, we want to encourage students to come to campus as much as possible. Physical contact is important, especially in this new phase of life, provided it can all be done according to the corona rules. In the end, physical contact cannot be replaced by a video call via Zoom or Skype.’

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