This year the Wageningen introduction week – the AID, or Annual Introduction Days – shouldn’t have to be split into two short introductions, thinks the AID board. That did happen in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid-19. It made it easier to maintain social distancing. The last big AID was in 2019.
Another feature of the AID in Covid times was that participants were put into groups of students on the same degree programme because it was more difficult to get to know each other when classes were online. This summer, the groups will be mixed again, says AID board chair Joris Krol (a student of International Land and Water Management). ‘You will still meet your course mates during the degree programme day. The AID will be just like the old days: one AID, six days of partying.’
Less glorification of alcohol
Although, perhaps not quite like the old days, as the current board has some ambitious plans. For the largest ever ‘cantus’ (a beery singsong), for example, with room for 2200 participants. ‘There were plans for one big cantus in 2020, but it was cancelled because of Covid,’ says Krol. The name has changed, though: the cantus is now called Sing-along. ‘We want to reduce the glorification of alcohol and emphasize that you don’t necessarily have to drink,’ says Krol. Besides beer, there will also be water, alcohol-free beer, radler and soft drinks. Underage AID participants will be given an armband of a different colour, and they won’t be served alcohol in any case.’
So, less glorification of alcohol. The AID mums and dads (current students who take a group of AID participants under their wing) also receive a mentor training that pays attention to inappropriate sexually behaviour. ‘What you should do if something happens, where you can go and how you can get in touch with confidential advisers, that sort of thing,’ says Food Technology student Job Esink of the AID board. ‘It’s a way of trying to do our bit towards a pleasant and safe AID for everyone.’
‘We want to start the AID with a party,’ says Krol, so the opening of the AID will have a makeover. It used to be held during the day, immediately after registration. This summer, rector magnificus Arthur Mol will welcome the new students during the opening party in the evening at the festival grounds on campus.
Like the cantus, the traditional Crazy 88 (88 crazy assignments at various locations in the city centre and at student clubhouses and organizations) will also be renamed: Operation Hotspot. As a result, the number of assignments no longer necessarily has to be 88, but the setup remains largely the same. The Pub Crawl, which allows AID participants to get to know various pubs in Wageningen, was introduced last year and is back again this year.
This year’s AID will take place from 19 to 24 August. Since Wednesday 20 April, registrations have been open for both prospective AID participants and current students who want to work as mentors or crew members. For more information, visit the AID website.