Nieuws - 13 oktober 2011

Societies are growing. Or are they?

Has it or has it not been a good year for the Wageningen student societies? The Wageningen social clubs are keeping their growth stats painstakingly secret. The only clear report of a big rise in members is for rowing club Argo.

One thing is certain - the major societies had a fairly large number of applicants. Especially SSR-W, which registered an all-time high of 175 students. However, there were less positive reports coming from student society circles after the introductory period: apparently, far more candidates than usual dropped out. There has been some speculation that perhaps the recruitment campaigns were too enthusiastic, with more students changing their minds later as a result. The growth in members could well be far less impressive than anticipated.
But the societies are not willing to confirm these reports. The four big Wageningen societies have issued a joint statement saying - in a rather student-like fashion - that the stats are meant for ‘discussing in the pub, not publishing in some university magazine.'
Rowing club popular
The sports clubs are less secretive; they say they are doing well. Rowing club Argo already had 210 members and has now added another 170 or so. This puts Argo in line with the national trend whereby combined sports and social clubs are increasing in popularity. ‘The reason for this is not entirely clear,' says Argo's Anne Jansen. ‘But it seems that the Halbe levy is making students keen to combine different aspects of their social lives.' The rowing club does not yet have a waiting list but the Argo facilities can get quite busy, says Jansen. ‘It is a real challenge arranging coaching for the new members and allotting times for the boats. But we manage.' Other sports clubs, such as WaHo and Tarlétos, have also reported an increase in membership numbers.