Nick Meeuwissen (20, Economics) signed up with RSG during this week. “Last Monday, the first day of the event. I’d been here for three hours, and that was enough time for them to completely win me over.”

There were clear reasons for him choosing RSG: “Everyone introduces themselves to you, no one acts like you’re worth less because you’re not one of them and everything is pretty easygoing.” Together with Tom Dierickx, Nick is taking part in the special RSG introduction programme, which is also open to students who can’t take part in the Eurekaweek. After all, Tom cannot join the Eurekaweek, since he is a student in higher professional education. “But I still really wanted to have an introduction week. I liked it so much here, I thought: ‘Why not?’”

Tom en Nick gezelligheidsvereniging interviewed_student_association_eurekaweek_2023_rsg – Aysha Gasanova
Tom and Nick are at RSG on the last Eurekaweek day. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

Looking for items in Decathlon

On Thursday evening at Laurentius, no new members are present, because the closing party is only for senior members. But the new Lauri members still aren’t hard to find, because they have to collect all the stuff on their packing list.

Jort Meinsma (18, Retail Management at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) is at the Decathlon sports retailer, looking for a white latex bathing cap. The Laurentius introduction period, or initiation week, will kick off on Saturday. “I’m feeling a little apprehensive. Getting everything on the packing list is giving me a fair amount of stress. And soon, of course, it’ll be nine days of suffering. On the other hand, I’m also looking forward to it. I think taking part will be pretty interesting. Just hitting rock bottom and, in doing so, really getting to know each other well. I think this could definitely be worthwhile and enjoyable, however tough the tasks and challenges may be.”

Initially, Jort intended to wait another year before becoming a member, but then he changed his minded during the Eurekaweek. “I’d registered for a place to sleep at Huize De Koninck, and this ultimately convinced me to become a member this year.” He adds: “Next year, my programme still won’t be too intense, but in the third year, things will get busier, what with my internship. The first year of a student association is the most demanding, so I’d be crazy if I didn’t do it now.”

Jort is looking forward to feeling like a real student: “I realised that my first HBO year still felt a lot like secondary school. In fact, there was no difference at all, and I was looking for something more. I think that Laurentius can offer me this.”

Jort gezelligheidsvereniging student_association_eurekaweek_2023_Laurentius – Aysha Gasanova
Jort is in Decathlon, looking for a white latex bathing cap. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

Not so keen on Lauri

It was an easy choice for Nikkie van ’t Hof (18) and Floor Schulpen (19). SSR is just right for them. “I’m the new youngest house member in our SSR house, Het Witte Huis, so I kind of didn’t have a choice”, recounts Nikkie, “but I was also really happy about it, and everyone has made a great impression on me. They’re all nice people.”

Floor had briefly considered joining Laurentius. “I even checked out Laurentius at the campus stands. Then I saw SSR festooned with pennants and balloons, with a table that was nicely set out with folders, flyers and all kinds of stuff. Laurentius turned up with one book, a damaged flyer and four people sitting round a table. I dropped by to say hello, even though I’d already registered with SSR, but we didn’t connect in the slightest.”

SSR is not the biggest association in Rotterdam, but that is actually something that Nikkie likes. “It’s a bit smaller than Laurentius and RSC/RVSV, which I feel makes it a bit more intimate, and you get to know people much better. Everyone is really open and friendly.” Floor adds: “Everyone knows everyone else, so it’s kind of like a family.” She has to laugh: “Then again, I hope it’s not too much like a family, with all the stuff that goes on there sometimes.”

Nikkie Floor gezelligheidsvereniging interviewed_student_association_eurekaweek_2023_SSR – Aysha Gasanova
Nikkie and Floor like that SSR is not the largest student association in Rotterdam. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

Mild initiation

Josephie Klein (19, University College) also considered joining Laurentius, but she ultimately went for NSR instead. “I’ve got a Christian background, and I think I ultimately feel very much at home at NSR. I think I can identify more with the people here than at Laurentius”, she explains. She’s sitting at a table and playing a card game with several senior students on the NSR terrace on Eendrachtsplein.

“I’m really looking forward to this evening – it’s the closing party, and it’s known to be the best evening of the Eurekaweek. What’s more, I liked the terrace most, just having a drink or two and meeting people. I really enjoy that.” The NSR introduction week will start on Monday, and Josephie is feeling a little nervous about this. “I have mixed feelings about it. As far as I know, it’s not a really tough initiation”, she says, “but maybe I’ll have a different opinion about this next week.”

Josephie gezelligheidsvereniging_student_association_eurekaweek_2023_NSR – Aysha Gasanova
Josephie on the terrace with NSR, her new student association. Image credit: Aysha Gasanova

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