On the second to last day of the AID, first-year students were offered a variety of workshops to become acquainted with all the different associations Wageningen has to offer. Crafting, sports, workshops and a masterclass on boundary-crossing behaviour and your future career: a varied range of activities. Student editor Ilja Bouwknegt cycled over the campus and through town to join beading, bike pimping and volleyball.
I start my bike trip at SHOUT, the LHBTQ+ association. SHOUT has set up a rainbow room on the upper floor of the Wilde Wereld, with all sorts of crafting materials that can be used to make pride accessories. Groups of students are busy with bracelets, flags and ironing beads. It is warm and crowded; the atmosphere is relaxed.
Behind the scenes, I hear a SHOUT-member inquire whether extra volunteers are available to talk to the first-year students; the number of participants exceeds expectations. ‘This appealed more to me than a workout’, says a newly enrolled biology student. ‘I attended the SHOUT party yesterday, which was really fun. That is why I am here today. I may decide to join now.’
Pimp your bike
I cycle towards the campus. International student association ESN awaits by the Forum tree, armed with cans of spray paint for a workshop called Pimp your Bike. The toxic odour of paint can be smelled from afar. Here too, people are relaxed, and music is playing. A Food Tech student is busy spraying his bike a vivid shade of pink. ‘I’m having a great time. I’m from Delft, and I’ve noticed that people in Wageningen seem to know each other well. Everyone knows everyone.’ Someone hands him a can of blue paint. ‘And the AID is great. Everyone has just abandoned their parents and God and is doing whatever they feel like.’
Just a short trip to sports centre de Bongerd, where sports associations organise workshops. A volleyball workshop by student volleyball association WaHo, for example. Two young men are passing balls back and forth at lightning speed. They copy the instructor’s examples flawlessly. When asked whether they have experience, they say: ‘No, this is my first time!’
The turnout is slightly lower than expected today. WaHo has already received many registrations for this year, but there are still some places available. ‘In previous years we would be full already, but we now have more time in the sports hall available, and thus, more room for members. But everyone seems enthusiastic, fortunately’, says the instructor. The young men are not yet exhausted after all the partying of this last week. ‘This is our last bit of energy, but we will stop in time to conserve some energy for the sing-along this evening.’