The number of students who signed up with a student association has risen considerably this year compared to last year. Nationally, the number has grown more than fifty per cent, especially Eindhoven (79 per cent), Utrecht and Groningen (66 per cent) had a lot of new first-year students. The Maastricht associations easily exceed those percentages because of Koko.
Koko received more than 320 registrations this year, says (former) chairman Jordi Janssen. Last year, there were about 140: a growth of more than 125 per cent. Circumflex too has “never had so many registrations,” says (former) chairman Stan van der Vleuten. They had 250 potential new members, an increase of about 25 per cent. Tragos signed on roughly 20 per cent more members and Saurus – which officially is not included in the national figures because it is (also) a sports association – had twelve per cent more registrations. Saurus had a membership stop of 264 new members because of boat capacity and the number of coaches, says the new chairman Karel van Melle. "There were ten more registrations. We accepted them anyway because the number of students who actually become members is always lower."
According to the association chairpersons, the need for social contact is the main reason behind the growth. “People haven’t been able to do anything for a long time,” says (former) Saurus chairperson Rosalie Bovy. “ I think that they are signing up now to be sure that they will make contact with others and have a fun time as a student.” Van der Vleuten: “I also expect that students are better informed before they chose a city.”
Is it not going to be too busy at the club this coming year? Janssen: “It is important to plan everything well this year, so that the one and a half metre distance can be maintained. That can be done, for example, with our reservation system. It is possible to visit the club safely.” Janssen feels that this safety, which they also showed during the Inkom week, is one of the reasons why so many students chose Koko. According to Teun Stunnenberg, Tragos’ brand new chairman, it could also have something to do with Koko’s low registration fees this year, which was one euro. Not true, says Janssen. "Just like Tragos, Circumflex and Saurus, we ask fifteen euros for the time after the Inkom."