Oliver Davies, chairman of Inter-Actief and one of the organisers, talks about the ins and outs of the market.
Who is organising this, for which target audience?
‘This market is collaboratively organised by study associations Dimensie, Inter-Actief, Stress and Communique. It is for all the students at the university. They can join for free.’
Why are you organising this event?
‘Every study association has NPO funds for the wellbeing of students. We received these funds for initiatives to get students back on campus. We had some money left after other activities and other associations found themselves in a similar situation. Hence, we wanted to pool in money and use it for a fun activity to promote the wellbeing of students. We felt this event – a winter market – is perfect, as it has limitless capacity.’
NPO is the National Education Programme (or Nationaal Programma Onderwijs, in Dutch). The Dutch government created this fund, with a total budget of 2.7 billion euros, to compensate educational institutions for coronavirus disruptions. Using the money to improve student wellbeing is high on the agenda of institutions.
What can people expect to find at the market?
‘There will be an ice skating rink with a capacity for about eighty people. Food trucks will be available from 15.00 to 21.00. The food is not free, but it is cheaper than usual and optional. We have set up a lot of long tables for students to sit and socialize. We are going to have Christmas lights in the evening, and they can experience the vibe of a Christmas market.’
Why a winter market?
‘We were inspired by the traditional German Christmas markets and want to bring that atmosphere here. We wanted to give winter vibes and have an easily accessible activity available on campus for everyone.’
What are you hoping to achieve in the event?
‘It is mostly to give an experience of a fun day for everyone. They can come during the lunch break or after their classes. We hope to achieve a good attendance. We expect around 500 people throughout the day. We anticipate the peak time to be around 3 to 4 pm, as most students are done with the lectures and hopefully want to experience the market before going home.’
The winter market takes place at the O&O square on Monday 16 January, from 12:00 to 22:00.