‘Kick-In-Challenge team provides short communication lines’

| Jelle Posthuma

This year the Kick-In committee will get help from the so-called 'Challenge team'. In the team, UT staff and students work together to organize as many physical activities on campus as possible for the new first-year students.

Photo: Frank van Mourik and Ingrid Bos-Bosscha (not on the photo, but member of the Challenge team: Sanne Kleinenberg, Frank Eulderink, Jasper van der Kolk and Jelmer van Straelen)

For this summer's introductory week, there was no script ready, says Frank van Mourik of the Kick-In committee. ‘Not surprising. The coronavirus has turned everything upside down. We had to reorganize everything. Moreover, about a third of the time is available for organizing the activities. That's quite a challenge for us.’

At the end of May, Campus & Facility Management (CFM) therefore came up with the idea of supporting the Kick-In Committee in organizing physical activities on campus. Initially only for sports, but now also for culture and world associations. Every Monday the team meets (online). Together we explore the boundaries of what is possible on campus,’ says Van Mourik. 'We aim to set the bar as high as possible.'

According to Van Mourik, the UT employees enable the Kick-In Committee to make quick decisions. ‘We still have five weeks. It's a very short deadline. We have to move ahead as quickly as possible now. The Challenge team ensures short lines of communication with those with final responsibility. They look at our plans and make sure that the person with final responsibility, in this case CFM director Pim Fij, can give his permission as soon as possible.'

Reservation system

Also during the Kick-In in August there are still several restrictions on the campus. ‘We are allowed on the university grounds with a maximum of five hundred students at the same time. That's why we keep as close an eye as possible on who is on campus and when. We do this by means of a reservation system,' explains Van Mourik. ‘In this way, our committee knows exactly who is participating in which activity. Should it be necessary afterwards, for example due to a corona outbreak, the GGD can easily carry out contact research. We can also easily organise fewer or more activities. It is a very dynamic system.’

As in previous years, the doegroep is an indispensable element of the Kick-In. ‘The bond between doegroep members will be even closer this year,’ says Ingrid Bos-Bosscha, coordinator individual sport and member of the Challenge team. ‘Students sign up as a doegroup for a time slot on campus. The doegroups do not mix with other groups. The physical activities are workshops of, for example, a sports or cultural association. There are also tours on campus. The workshops all take place outside on campus. Indoor activities are not yet possible.’

Van Mourik emphasizes that in addition to a physical programme, there is also an extensive online programme during the Kick-In. 'We can't put all freshmen on campus at the same time. There will also be students who don't travel to Enschede because of corona, but who will participate in the online programme. As far as the registrations are concerned, we haven't noticed much of the corona crisis yet. The master enrolments are still a bit behind, but for the bachelor program there are even more enrolments than last year around this time.'