Osiris, the biggest student society in Wageningen UR, threw a big party last week to celebrate its 15th anniversary . Resource sent two Quercus students from Velp to party with their VHL sister society in Leeuwarden. Vincent Bouma and Niek Arians, third years in Land and Water Management, describe their experiences here.
Niek: ‘When we arrived at about 11:30 pm, it was still pretty quiet. But when the band began to play, things started to loosen up. The dance floor became more crowded, the polonaise got going and people started to sing along heartily with the usual favourites.'
Vincent: ‘I used to go to parties regularly in the Achterhoek. During song by Normaal, everyone would be on their knees. That's something which absolutely won't happen in Velp. But in Leeuwarden, everyone went down to the floor. It was nice to watch that.'
Kissing and phoning are forbidden
Vincent: ‘It's good to see that Leeuwarden and Velp have some common rules of conduct. Kissing and phoning in the society are taboo in Osiris too. In Leeuwarden, offenders are punished by having a glass of beer poured over them. In Velp, kissing members have to drink a cup of coffee milk.' Niek: Until recently, those caught phoning in Velp had their cell phones thrown in the water, but we have given up that practice because of all these expensive smart phones.'
There are considerably more female students in Osiris than in Quercus, noted both men with satisfaction. ‘Besides, they were not reserved or shy at all; they enjoyed themselves dancing at the bar. You don't find that in Quercus.' Vincent and Niek think that this is mainly because there are too many males in Velp. ‘The women in Quercus are a minority, making up at most thirty percent of all the members. As a result, the male students have to do more to make an impression. The opposite happens in Osiris. The boys there are much quieter while the girls show off a bit more.'
No respect for the bartenders
Niek: ‘In Quercus, we were told that it's not polite to have your back to the bar. You have to behave in a sociable way. The bartenders are there for you. If you turn your back to them, you could get a glass of water down your neck. In Osiris, it didn't seem to matter whether you stood with your back to the bar or not.'
Vincent: ‘Almost everyone wore a T-shirt or a polo shirt showing the year or the debating society they belong to. Just like those rugby shirts with coloured stripes. They looked like they had struck a nice deal with a company. We have club kit in Quercus too but we only wear it on special occasions. That's quite enough for us.'
To the disappointment of Vincent and Niek, ‘Heerlijk helder' Heineken was the beer tapped. They serve Dommelsch in Quercus. Niek: ‘That's real beer.' Nevertheless, they downed at least ten beers per person between them, Vincent thinks. ‘Many committee members from sister societies in Leeuwarden provided a free keg. That added to the free flow.'
So few singsongs
Osiris does not have many songs of its own, say Niek and Vincent. ‘Quercus has about five. These are chanted the moment the music stops, or when the DJ makes a mistake.' Niek: ‘He really gets it in the neck' Osiris does not have its own repertoire, they concluded. Something the Northerners need to work on?
Osiris is the student society at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden, with about 500 members. VHL students in Velp have more choice: five student societies to pick from. Quercus, the society to which Vincent and Niek belong, is located in Arnhem and has about 80 members.