Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes
The number of people taking part in INKOM is decreasing. First-year students prefer the faculty introduction. The solution is simple, says Bob Meijer, chairman of student rowing association Saurus, combine the two introductions in one week.
After studying for six years, you are a wise man, at least you would think that. I will leave it up to you to decide whether I can call myself a wise man after six years, but what I do want to talk about is the introduction period for new students in Maastricht. This period in August consists of two weeks, in which students first get acquainted with Maastricht student life during INKOM, and then with the university during the various faculty introductions. In this way, students are able to find out at ease what the new city has to offer. On the face of it, this situation is ideal, but I don’t think it is and the new students seem to support me in this.
According to figures from the INKOM working group, the group of students appointed by the university to organise this week of events, this year’s INKOM had 2,351 participants. In 2014, the number was 2,644, so a decrease of 293. This is strange, especially because the number of students registering for a bachelor’s programme at this university for the first time, rose in the same period. Last academic year, this group totalled 3,342 students while this year the total is 3,563.
One of the effects of this decreasing number of INKOM participants is extra pressure on the associations. Every student association wants to put its best foot forward during this week, but they depend on the rules made and the programme. There has been tension between student parties and the INKOM working group for years and this has often led to discussions getting out of hand about what is allowed and what is not. For example, who and where one can have a booth, who is allowed run a bar, who and where one is allowed to carry out promotion activities or the number of INKOM groups assigned to each association. Such a shame, because as far as I can see, everyone wants the same. A week in which all new students can become acquainted with all the wonderful things that the student city of Maastricht has to offer, after which students choose which association to join and so become a part of the city.
At the moment, the above-mentioned situation does not yet exist. Associations often only worry about the number of members they can attract. This should not be the case at all, as the figures show that there are plenty of students. In order to ensure that all parties focus on organising a good introduction, the number of INKOM participants must go up. You may wonder how this can be done.
As far as I’m concerned, it is pretty simple. Combine the faculty introduction and the INKOM. Organise an introductory week in which students meet fellow students on Monday at the faculty introduction. On Tuesday they get to see the city, and the rest of the week they become acquainted with the associations. This takes away the need to choose. No long introduction period, in which they constantly have to make choices and register for all sorts of things.
No, you are going to study in Maastricht, so you take part in INKOM. Why? That is what everyone does.
This article reflects the personal opinion of the author