Assignments on the list vary in terms of scope and difficulty. The student, who recounted his story to Erasmus Magazine, had to travel all over the Netherlands to take a picture of each of the seven university cities where a corps is established. He had to run 19.13 kilometres (which refers to 1913, the year the university was founded) as well as help out a lonely elderly person.

Letter from the top of your head

Other assignments were more straightforward, such as having a drink at one of the establishments frequently frequented by RSC/RVSV members. While other assignments were more geared towards getting to know the city: singing the national anthem at the Euromast, taking a photo at De Hef, placing flowers at a war memorial or jumping into the Kralingse Plas. Applicants had to bring proof of all the assignments they had completed.

Another thing that the student had to do was to write a motivation letter that was at least one A4 sheet long and learn it by heart. “You may be asked to recite it by heart,” the invitation email states.

Selecting motivated students

Rosa Jelsma, who will take over from the current president of in September, explains that the corps began issuing assignments to applicants in 2020. “We are becoming more and more popular as a student association, but we do have a maximum capacity of four hundred new members per year. We prefer to take on students who are willing to do their bit, are motivated and have a sense of social responsibility. Ultimately, we want to be a dynamic, active association with our feet firmly planted in society.”

Not all students are given the same assignments. Five versions of the list are in circulation, according to the future president. Students who want to enrol during Eurekaweek have to complete a slightly shorter list, Jelsma explains, because there is less time then in between all the other activities. That list is published on the website of the corps. Jelsma adds that creativity in the way the assignments are completed is very much appreciated. “For example, there was a student who went to Madurodam and photographed all the student city stations there.”

Leniency in the case of injuries

But what if you are unable to run over 19 kilometres or crawl twenty laps around football goalposts on all fours because of an injury or a disability? “We have had several instances of students indicating that they are unable to complete certain assignments, and if they have a valid reason, we are very lenient with them. Once, we even exempted a student from all the assignments. This was the case with a student who had broken several bones, so that will also be taken into account during the introductory period.”

Whether completing all seventeen assignments is enough for a golden ticket to the introductory period remains to be seen. Enrolment is going very well, according to the incoming president of RSC/RVSV, so it is very likely that a draw will have to be made again this year. “It’s still early days, but we will see how it pans out during Eurekaweek,” Jelsma says in conclusion.

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