First there was the secret call for bras in Wageningen. A week later, a streamer of 350 Wageningen bras was slung across a Utrecht canal. Only then was the mystery solved. It was a stunt by a new sorority, the first real sorority at SSR-W.
Seventeen female members of student society SSR-W have been working for month on setting up an all-woman club or sorority, to be called Isis. But it is no mean challenge they face, because anyone wanting to set up a new special interest group (or ‘dispuut’) at SSR-W has to tackle a tough, not to say impossible, list of demands. The idea is to make the initiators prove that they are worth their salt. In this case, one of the tasks was to draw the attention of a national newspaper.
So the ladies came up with a prank. ‘We are a club for strong women,’ says chair Rianne van Zonsbeek. ‘We wanted to do something to symbolize the diversity of women.’ During the general introduction days, they posted hundreds of notes through letterboxes in Wageningen and Bennekom requesting people to put out old bras later in the week. Well, that story made it into the Gelderlander, bringing them success at the regional level at least. Bags full of bras were put outside people’s doors, and eventually 350 bras were collected.
On Saturday 23 August the ladies set off to Utrecht with their booty. ‘We wanted to somewhere big with a lot of passers-by, and Wageningen is too quiet,’ says Rianne. So they chose a nearby city and headed for the old canal in Utrecht city centre. It didn’t take long before their activities were picked up. ‘Twitter was full of our bras,’ says Rianne happily. ‘Even Nick and Simon tweeted about us.’ The Dutch singer-songwriter duo happened to be in Utrecht to promote their single Leve de vrouw [Long live the woman].
Who knows whether these efforts will suffice for the establishment of the sorority? The SSR-W ‘parliament’ will decide about that. The national media have not yet reported the prank, but Rianne is not worried about that. ‘Nick and Simon have more followers than most newspapers, over 400,000 of them.’ The sorority is still looking for a good cause to give to 350 bras to, and they have asked Q-music to help. So perhaps they will still achieve their goal.