The student society in Wageningen with the most new members this year is Ceres. But its 159 newbies are not enough to knock Leeuwarden's Osiris off the top spot.
Osiris, the student society affiliated with Van Hall Larenstein (VHL) in Leeuwarden, recruited 170 new members. Five less than last year, but enough to keep its number one position. That ranking is no surprise. Osiris has a monopoly position at this VHL site and has been the largest of the Wageningen UR student societies for years.
The contest is closer in Wageningen. After Ceres (2 up compared with last year) come KSV Franciscus with 154 (down 6) new members and SSR-W with 144 (up 26). The regional student societies also show big gains. Taken as a whole, the number of new members is in line with the growth in university numbers.
The student societies in Velp have not been able to benefit from the growth in their University of Applied Sciences. The 30 for Arbori and 27 or so for Quercus mean their numbers are on a level with the previous academic year. But Quercus secretary Evelien Vervoort adds at once: 'You should really ring back in early October. We're still busy recruiting.'
Nearly all of the societies are pleased with their numbers of applicants. Only Nji-Sri Wageningen had hoped for more: after an upsurge in 2009 (30 newcomers), this year the society only got 22 applications. Nji-Sri is wondering whether such numbers will be enough to keep the society premises going in the long term. But president Rixt Gielstra quickly qualifies this, saying: 'Fortunately, our new members are people who really want to stay, so we are not entirely dissatisfied'.
The society will try and give extra publicity to its more serious activities in the next while. 'We are organizing workshops with Agrojobs, and we can offer our members an excellent network - we have 6,100 alumni working all over the world. Given all that, we really should be able to achieve our goal of forty new members.'