The cabinet is tightening things up for the introduction weeks for freshmen. This became evident from the press conference that Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge gave last week. Small-scale, informative, without alcohol, before 10 p.m. and at one and a half meters: these are the conditions that the cabinet sets for physical activities during the introduction weeks.
Sabine de Winter, chair of the Kick-In committee, calls it ‘a rather vague framework’. ‘We don't know exactly what the enhanced measures mean for our program. That is why our plans are currently for approval with the safety region of Twente. We are waiting for that. We hope to get a definite answer by Wednesday.’
There is still a lack of clarity about some parts of the Kick-In programme, which starts next Wednesday and is largely online, says De Winter. ‘In our opinion, the sports workshops and the city and campus tour meet the guidelines of the cabinet. However, the collective eating moments are in jeopardy. The question is whether this activity falls under the category of 'informative'. In any case, the silent disco has been cancelled, because it was on the programme after 22.00 hours. Fortunately, the basis of our programme is online.’
The Kick-In Committee has less influence on activities outside the official programme. De Winter therefore urges the freshmen and their supervisors not to meet in one student house together. ‘Like every year, we organize an information meeting for all Kick-In parents one or two days before the Kick-In. We strongly recommend that you only meet outside as a group, for example in a park. We do not enforce this. We can't look into someone's room. That's exactly why it's such a pity that some official physical activities don't take place. If we organized it ourselves, we could also have stricter supervision.’
For a moment it seemed that the introductory week could not go on at all. ‘That scared the hell out of us', De Winter says. ‘But in the end it turned out to be about stricter measures.’ The chairwoman hopes that the brand new first year students will still get a good start of their student life. 'In the end, we want to create the best possible introduction week for the new group of students. That takes a lot of time and energy, and there is often uncertainty. Nevertheless, we as a committee remain positive. We make the best of it.'