Students on the BSc programme Health and Society (BGM) and the MSc programme in Communication, Health and Life Sciences (MCH) have split off from Mercurius study association to form an association of their own: Apollo.
The Apollo board, with chair Milou Verstegen in the centre. © Apollo
BGM and MCH were part of Mercurius together with the programmes Business and Consumer Sciences (BBC) and Economics and Policy (BEB). ‘They were more geared to the economics side of things,’ says Apollo chair Milou Verstegen. ‘And Mercurius’s activities matched those programmes better, which was why the turnout of Health and Society students was exceptionally low. Since our programme is big enough now for an association of its own, we have started Apollo.’
With 1300 members Mercurius is also too big, really, says Verstegen. ‘It is almost impossible to organize it properly with a part-time board. And the new Extended Daytime Schedule would make it practically impossible to organize activities for different programmes, because everyone has breaks at different times.’
In the air
The idea of splitting off has been in the air for some time. ‘We split off officially last June, and the first board of Apollo started then. Now we have about 125 members.’ The main activities of the first few months were to do with sorting out the practicalities of starting up the association. Verstegen: ‘From very small things like an email address to bigger issues like a website and a bank account. That’s in place now.’
At the moment committees are being formed that will organize nice activities. ‘Drinks parties, for instance, bitterballen bingo, a first-year weekend and a trip to a trampoline park. And we shall also organize lectures and excursions that relate to our subject and help students get oriented to the job market.’