During the AID (Annual Introduction Days), new students frequently become a member of a student association. This is followed by the introduction days at the association, during which some of the potential new members drop out. Depending on the association, the definite number of new members that have been inaugurated or taken on becomes clear.
Classical large student associations KSV Franciscus, WSV Ceres, and SSR-W are seeing a considerable drop in the number of new first-year members. ‘We have considerably fewer new members than the last three years’, says KSV Franciscus chair Koen Sibering. ‘This is a trend that is visible in all of Wageningen.’ He believes the reduced membership numbers may be related to the increase of international students compared to Dutch students in Wageningen. ‘Negative news about student associations in other cities may also play a part.’ The lower numbers don’t dampen the fun, Siebeling assures. ‘Smaller numbers frequently become closer-knit. Moreover, if last year’s increase had continued, the bar room would likely be too small by now.’
Smaller associations such as Nji-Sri and Unitas, in contrast, are seeing an increase in the number of memberships. Unitas is advancing. In 202, 37 new members were recorded, followed by 52 in 2021. This year, 71 students joined Unitas. Nji-Sri saw a covid-dip last year, says secretary Lisa van Veen. ‘During the 2021 AID, we were only permitted to host a small number of members at our association at any one time, while our strength lies in the parties and personal contact. That was impossible at that time. This summer was different and resulted in an immediate increase.’
Rowing association remains unchallenged in its popularity. Both in 2020 and 2021, there were 200 new members. This year, 220 new students joined.