What on earth are you doing on campus this time of year?
Jasper: “I’m the President of the Eureka Week Organising Committee, while Mariska is responsible for the marketing of the event. Over the next few weeks we’ll be very busy finalising the last few things that need arranging. The programme was finalised quite a while ago, so that’s good – we won’t have to worry about that any more. But there are still quite a few contractual matters that need to be finalised now.”
Why will this year’s event be special?
Jasper: “In addition to recurring features such as the opening ceremony, the sports day, the cantus [a beer-drinking and singing event – ed.] and the Night of the Songs, we have added a few new locations this year. We will head to Rotterdam-West for the first time, but we will also be able to be found in front of the Market Hall.”
Has your stress level increased over the course of the summer?
Mariska: “Yes, because many business-related things must be finalised. They can’t be put off any longer because otherwise things will be too late. Permits, printed matter, marketing, things like that. You’ll be stressed out over it, but you know in advance that will happen.”
Jasper: “At the beginning of the year, we often found ourselves thinking as soon as the clock struck five: that’ll do, let’s go to De Smitse now. But now we’ll stick around to get things over and done with. Our meetings are getting longer, too. Although we did try to make things a little easier on ourselves – for instance, by applying for permits early.”
Mariska: “We are now receiving all those permits, so that’s going well. Which has relieved some pressure.”
What is it like, organising a week like this? Is it harder than you thought it would be?
Mariska: “I think we both had a pretty good idea of what we were getting into, since we were both part of the support crew last year. But it’s still a lot of work, and a huge responsibility.”
Jasper: “A lot of people are involved in the event. As an outsider, you only get to see those four days, but there’s so much more to it than that.”
Mariska: “We started last December. It’s actually quite bizarre how fleeting Eureka Week is compared to the amount of time you spend preparing for those four days. And all you can do is hope the weather will be nice, which is not something you can control.”
Looking back on the last eight months, how do you feel about them?
Jasper: “I have a very good feeling about them. Basically, eight random students are thrown together to form the organising committee, and all you can do is hope for the best. But things went very smoothly right from the start.”
Mariska: “We do a lot of fun stuff together, as well. In late June we all went to Mallorca together, and we had a great time. But in the next few weeks we’ll mostly be working on a lot of serious stuff that needs doing.”
When do you expect to be able to take it easy again?
Mariska: “In September we’re all embarking on our Master’s degrees. We’ll have a week off in between, but we’ll also have to finish a lot of things off during that time. So we won’t be able to take it easy any time soon.”
Jasper: “Come September, I’ll still be finishing off Eureka Week, as I’ll be recruiting a new organising committee and writing the handover report. So I’m not sure yet which subjects I will and won’t be able to take.”