Debuting student organizations try to charm freshmen

24 Aug 2021

Tens of organizations present themselves to the freshmen on the introduction market. Among them were associations for whom it's their first time on the market. How are they trying to draw students’ attention?

A popular new association is chess club Tussen de Torens (Between the Rooks), who have been making a lot of progress since their establishment a few months back. By now they already have fixed trainings and courses and they are planning an introduction tournament. Board member Nyasha has a big smile on his face while loudly talking to the freshmen.

‘I talk enthusiastically because I am extremely enthusiastic about our chess club,’ he explains. ‘We have a great ambiance with members who are really involved. And chess is a great and fun sport.’ The chess club is doing well, judging by how busy it gets around the stand. The association already has 38 members, but looking at the enthusiastic board that number will soon grow to be a lot more.

Word of God

The information officers of the Anglican Church expect a lot less visitors to their stand. ‘If we have five interested students, we’d already be very happy,’ tells Dick Buitendijk. The church tries to fill a hole in the market for religious students. The university already has a few Christian associations, but the Anglican Church provides services in English. That appeals to internationals is what Buitendijk hopes.

The Anglican Church on the introduction market. Photo: David van Haren

The stand seems simple – a couple of pens and flyers – but Buitendijk hopes that the word of God is enough. ‘We don’t care about your religious background. If you want to attend services in English, we are the association for you,’ says Buitendijk. It’s not too busy yet at the start of the market. ‘We’ll see if this turns out to be successful. But if not, then at least we tried.’

Bells and whistles

That’s how Judith Stalpers and Annemiek Kruijsse  of the Nijmeegse Concord Tarcisius think about it as well. Bells and whistles aren’t needed at their stand. The message ‘that we are a really fun association’ should be enough, tells Kruijsse. ‘Making music together just offers something extra compared to playing solo.’ The concord, with around 100 members, practices weekly in Brakkenstein, a district of Nijmegen. They find the ambiance to be great, but there is always room for more enthusiastic members. ‘Our members are young and old, so there is enough room for students.’

The stand of Concord Tarcisius. Photo: David van Haren

One last organization, the Matchis Foundation, has returned to the introduction market after a short hiatus. The foundation tries to get students interested in stem cell donation. They’re one of the few associations who really suffer because of the COVID-19 restrictions. ‘Normally we take a stem cell sample, but because of the restrictions we weren’t allowed to.’ That’s why Matchis decided to do it a little bit differently this year, tells Roelsen. ‘Students can fill in a form and afterwards we will send a kit their way. Stem cell donation saves a lot of lives. Why wouldn’t you help?’

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