It’s giving the presidents a headache. After a ‘year of crisis management’, they had hoped to be able to finish the academic year together. Despite all the measures, the associations are still faced with corona infections.
They are not required to shut down, but the Rotterdam student associations are doing it anyway. “We have decided to close our doors preventively and see how things develop further”, says Pita Elhorst, president of RSC/RVSV. The clubs feel responsible for the health of their members and the people they might come into contact with.
‘Awful roller coaster'
“The past year has been an awful roller coaster”, says Lars Ahsman from Laurentius. “We thought after a year of crisis management that we could end our board year with a party, but we are hitting the pause button for now.” Laurentius closed the doors of the club on Monday. “We are keeping an eye on the news and based on that, we will decide how long we will stay closed.”
The clubs all tell the same story: No one entered the events without a valid QR code and matching ID. “We have one entrance at Laurentius, so we know for sure that everyone who was inside had passed the check with our security”, Ahsman adds. The association even hired extra security to be able to carry out thorough checks at the door.
Despite the measures, infections were reported at all student associations. After the first reports, the clubs quickly decided to temporarily close down. At RSG, SSR Rotterdam and NSR the doors to the societies are also locked. NSR was in the news earlier this week after more than one hundred people turned out to be infected after a gala.
More press conferences than parties
Student rowing association Skadi informed all its members on Thursday afternoon that the club would not be opening that evening. “As a board, it gives us a headache when you follow all the measures, go for a test three times a week and then there are still infections,” says Floor Ruttenberg, president of Skadi. “We are a sports club, but also a social club and you noticed that our members have really missed the fun of socializing.” A three-day event of Skadi will take place next week – for now. But in smaller groups, and only in the open air.
As to whether the ESN Tuesdays will go ahead remains to be seen. These weekly parties are especially popular with international students. ESN president Rolland Masebu has indicated that the board will soon make a decision on this. On Friday, new measures are expected from the Dutch cabinet, all associations are waiting to hear about them in order to see what their upcoming weeks will look like. “We’ve watched more press conferences this year than we’ve partied”, Ruttenberg notes.