10.30 pm – The last Eurekaweek participants leave the terrace of SSR-Rotterdam on Westersingel. But most of them aren’t thinking of going home yet. The students cross the bridge to the building on the other side which has big SSR banners displayed on the wall. A queue has already formed past the metal barriers, there’s no more room inside. Five hundred guests means it’s full capacity, so they just have to wait till someone leaves and makes way for another partygoer. Playing tonight: the Partysquad.
While members of the association clear up the terrace, Loes Baltussen and Nick Veldheer, president and member of the SSR Eurekaweek committee respectively, talk about the past few days. Veldheer: “Thanks to a new permit, we were able to extend the terrace this year. And that was really necessary because we couldn’t fit everyone in any more.” This year, the terrace can accommodate over 550 students. Five hundred fit into the association building. We watch the queue on the other side and Baltussen says: “We’re full already and it’s only 11.00 pm. There are too few student parties for the growing number of students, really.”
11.15 pm – We’re allowed in through the performers’ entrance. It’s much too crowded by the main entrance. Occasionally someone comes out and a new student can go in. Inside, the bass powers though your body. Stairs lead to four different storeys: the party room, an area where you can look down on the party room from the balcony, one where new members can enrol and right at the top is the so-called ‘braadlounge’ [roasting lounge].
The ‘braadlounge’ does its name proud: it’s extremely hot in here. With sweat on their brows, people are sitting drinking and talking at long tables. There’s a small bar where you can order beer. We join a group of first years. “I think that we’ve definitely become friends over the past few days,” says Demi (18). Daniek (18) agrees: “If you don’t come from Rotterdam, that really makes a difference. It’s been quite a culture shock for me.” Daniek comes from Kampen where they drink different things than here. “I like Berenburg with iced tea, which they apparently don’t know here,’ she laughs with her group. Suddenly there’s a huge cheer. A pizza delivery has arrived.
00.30 am – The heat and liquid refreshments take their toll. One first year empties the contents of her stomach on the lounge floor (and her neighbour’s arm). Luckily there’s someone from the association’s Eurekaweek committee on hand to help her. “It’s very hard going, all these long days. It was all a bit too much for her,” he says. We go outside to cool down and find that the queue has become quite a bit shorter. While our photographer takes a picture of the queue, one boy shouts: “I’ll only smile if I can get in.” Obviously, the bouncers don’t take the bait.
We see the Partysquad members arrive, they shake hands with a few SSR members: in recent years, the duo has been a regular feature during Eurekaweek. We decide to rejoin the masses ourselves. On the staircase, we’re greeted by Lars, a first year who we met earlier this week at RSG. He’d told us then that he was planning to join SSR: “I’ve just enrolled,” he says happily before disappearing into the party room.
1.15 am – The Partysquad starts playing and everyone goes wild. From Get busy by Sean Paul to JA! by Bizzey, everyone sings along loudly. We try our best to get to the front, but the people mass has become impenetrable. Luckily, we get to go back stage for a dance. The Partysquad jump and the audience jumps with them.
An hour later and we’ve had enough. The bouncer wishes us a nice evening. The anti-hangover pills which SSR was handing out on the terrace this afternoon will come in useful.