‘It’s time to rock out’

Enthusiasm at the student associations about the reopening of society (and the associations).
Drinks. Photo KSV Franciscus

‘Good evening. The country is going to reopen.’ These were the opening words spoken by Ernst Kuipers, minister of Health, Welfare and Sports, at the Covid press conference of Tuesday, 15 February. In short: the country is to reopen in three steps (in Dutch), with most of the Covid measures being lifted on Friday, 25 February.

The news was greeted with excitement at the Wageningen student associations. ‘It’s time to rock out’,  says Sil Penders, fifth-year member and chair of WSV Ceres. ‘After two years of covid, we can finally experience our association the old fashioned way. I can hardly believe it.’

Old-school drinks

As of today, Friday 18 February, the social distancing rule, fixed seating requirement and mandatory facemasks are lifted. ‘That quickly brings the association back into its old form’, Penders says. All that remains is the obligation to check the Covid pass and a limit of 500 guests. ‘We have some 800 members, so I can imagine some 400 to 500 of them coming to the pub.’ Venues must still close at 01.00 a.m. However, regular closing hours apply from next week Friday. ‘That means we close at four of five in the morning’, says Penders, who is delighted that evening drinks will become like they were.

I can hardly believe it

Sil Penders, WSV Ceres chair

Delight abounds at KSV Fransiscus as well. Chair Djoeke Dankloff: ‘This is truly a new step, which is just in time for our lustrum celebration. We will celebrate it extensively. People can hardly wait to crowd together.’ Dankloff expects quite the crowd this evening at Friday dinks. ‘This usually lasts until eight, but I can easily see people sticking around until 01.00 in the morning this time.’ A song festival is planned for Friday 25 February, the day almost all measures are lifted. ‘I expect it will be a great party.’

Open parties

Since the start of the corona pandemic, there have been no open parties. Traditionally, there are open parties at Ceres, SSR-W, KSV Franciscus or Unitas every Thursday. ‘Our first open party is scheduled for 21 April’, says Dankloff. ‘Being able to welcome our members back is fantastic, but we also want to provide non-members with a great party. I went to many open parties during my first year. I expect more to be planned soon.’


The return to an open society is good news for students’ well-being, says Dankloff. ‘I think everyone has been eagerly awaiting this moment. Covid has had quite an impact on mental health, not in the least part due to the lack of structure. Students were required to do everything in their student rooms, from studying to working out to attending association activities. Now, you can depart from the campus at five and really leave your day behind to move on to your sports or association activities for relaxation. It is great that this is once again possible.’

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