How is everything going? You must be very busy…
‘Yes, it is insane. In fact, I only have twenty minutes for this interview. The latest press conference in itself did not have many implications for us. But we did have to adapt to the maximum of 750 visitors for events. Especially the evening program had to be changed. In order to give every participant of the Kick-In a chance to party, we organize two or three different events on one evening. There are also fixed-place evening activities, such as a beer tasting, where we can welcome up to 1500 participants.’
How about Covid self-tests? Will they be handed out to the participants?
‘The participants receive a bag with three self-tests at the beginning of the Kick-In. They can use them to test every other day. It is not mandatory, but it is an urgent advice to the participants. For the non-informative evening activities, we use Testen Voor Toegang, which allows students to show a negative test or that they are fully vaccinated.'
Also, will you offer the participants the facility to get vaccinated?
‘We don't offer any facilities for that ourselves. However, the Municipal Health Service (GGD) is present to provide information on this subject, for example to international students.’
Is it also possible to join the program online only?
‘Yes, that is possible. Some participants are in quarantine, are abroad or experience difficulties with Testen Voor Toegang - which is perfectly understandable. For them, and for the other participants, we offer a wide variety of online activities. In total, 50 people are now participating solely online. We do see that the offline program has many more enrolments. In fact, that is what we want too: students should have the opportunity to meet each other in person.'
How about sleeping? Where can students stay?
‘Because of Covid, we advise students to arrange their own accommodation where they can sleep. We also follow the UT advice to students not to come to the campus, if they have not found accommodation yet.'
Something more fun then. What do you think are the highlights of the program?
‘All activities are a highlight, I think. Students and young people have been able to do virtually nothing for the past year and a half. Now they are offered a week full of sports, culture and parties. Therefore, I expect that the students will experience it as one big highlight. If I had to mention anything, it would be the open air parties on the campus with Testen Voor Toegang. I am very curious how these will turn out, and perhaps we will repeat it every year.'
To conclude. It must have been an intense year for you as a committee?
‘Absolutely. When we signed up for the Kick-In last year, we thought the pandemic would largely be over by August 2021. But that turned out differently. The past few months have been very intense: we had to keep changing things. Fortunately, we are not alone with the six committee members. There is help from ten former members and involved crew members. That really helps a lot.'
Are you satisfied with the program of the Kick-In as it is now?
‘Yes, I am definitely satisfied. We offer more than fifty activities. I think this year, we are getting very close to a Kick-In as we all know it from before Covid.'