The three big Wageningen student societies all recorded more than 170 new candidate members during AID.
Photo: Sven Menschel
Matthijs Verburg, the chair of KSV Franciscus, says that 234 students have signed up for the society introduction stage (known as VIT, its Dutch abbreviation). ‘About 40 percent men and 60 percent women.’ Last year, the count stood at 219 after the AID week.
SSR-W says via Twitter that it is #proud to welcome 204 new candidate members. That is a big increase on last year when 179 students signed up. Ceres says it has 203 preliminary registrations for the VIT camps next week. ‘But not everyone can make the camp next Saturday or next Tuesday so we’ve got a post-VIT in the third week of Period 1. About 20 people have already registered for that. Even more people might sign up during the first open party, on the Thursday before the post-VIT,’ says society chair Jeffrey van den Born. Last year, Ceres welcomed 201 candidate members.
The small societies are doing well too. NSW Navigators, a Christian student society, has recorded 60 registrations. ‘About 40 to 50 will eventually become new members, which is similar to last year. I think that’s a good score as we want to stay the same size,’ says the secretary Hans Dekker. Two years ago, NSW suddenly had to start turning students down after 64 new members had registered. It meant that the modest- sized society had to go looking for new group leaders and larger premises, which they still have not found. ‘Café de Overkant fell through because of the noise. Neighbours and subtenants started complaining after we had a few trial runs. We have been looking for a new home for years and Café de Overkant is the nearest we’ve got to one.’ Youth society Unitas also got 60 new registrations while Nji Sri recorded 69.
The big winner is the student rowing association Argo. Each year, this student sports association manages to attract the most first-years. This year they got 298, not quite breaking the 300 barrier. ‘We can only eventually take on 220 oarsmen so we will have to select people based on the reasons for wanting to join, which the candidates already had to fi ll in. Last year we had to turn down 26 people.’ Argo has been growing for several years now. ‘I think we’ve got more people showing an interest than last year because students want an association where they can play sports and I suspect the abolition of student grants has something to do with this too. We haven’t really altered the promotion compared with last year, we’ve just shown what rowing involves and how much fun it is,’ says an enthusiastic Argo member.
Not all students who register as candidate members eventually join the societies and associations. ‘There are always people who sign up for the VIT while drunk but never turn up,’ explains KSV’s Verburg. And of course there are some students who decide after completing the introduction stage that the society in question is not for them.