How are the preparations going?
'The jitters are starting to come. That is healthy tension, because everything is going smoothly. We are tying up some loose ends, but all will be well. The crew still gets briefings and about 3,000 bags have to be packed. Fortunately, we have the help of many volunteers, so we are looking forward to it.'
What is the status of the number of registrations?
'Good, but those numbers don't say much. Many students do not apply or only apply in the last week, so we only know at the last moment. During previous introductions, about 85 percent of the first-year students registered for the introduction. Probably the number of participants will be around 2,500. Maybe a bit lower than last year because the number of pre-registrations at the UT has decreased.'
How many activities will take place?
'The introduction lasts nine days. We organise six and a half days, the other two and a half days are organised by study associations. We plan an average of ten activities per day, so that makes sixty to seventy activities in total. At the Bachelor's introduction some activities run parallel, at the Master's there are a little less activities, but that is logical.'
What are you looking forward to most?
'The concert at the Old Market. That is finally back on the programme since 2019. When we announced the line-up, with Antoon, Froukje and Goldband, I think all of studying Enschede became enthusiastic. So I expect a packed Oude Markt. I am also looking forward to the Storming of the Bastille, which we will also do. That remains a beautiful tradition.'
What are you focusing on during this introduction?
'More focus on inclusion and diversity and also on the Pride aspect. At the introduction we receive a wide range of cultures and everyone is welcome. That's why we pay extra attention to this with parties like the Celebrate our Differences Party and the Bring your Flag party.'
How does the 'Take the Leap' theme come back?
'Of course during the opening speech, but also in various activities, often with a wink. We also try to promote the introduction song more. Students are not always familiar with it.'