The academic year started for students a week ago with online introductions and online lectures. Freshmen who were looking forward to a good start to their student days all summer, sought socializing and contact with student associations. They saw the number of registrations to their surprise this year.
But that popularity also means that a registration did not automatically lead to a place at an association. There is limited space at many associations.
“Unfortunately we had to disappoint a lot of people this year,” says Yorick van der Heiden, chairman of the National Chamber of Associations, which represents 48 student associations. “The phenomenon of drawing lots is not new, but it is happening more this year than in previous years.”
Large student associations informed the NOS that they had to exclude almost half of the students who wanted to become a member this year.
Difficult to find support
For students who have not been drawn, it is extra difficult to find something to hold on to in a new city in corona time, says Jolien Dopmeijer of the Trimbos Institute. She did research towards loneliness among students during the ‘intelligent lockdown’. “Of course students can also build up a social network without being part of an association, but now making contacts is extra difficult for first-years.”
Earlier we followed Renske, who joined a student association in Eindhoven. “Try making nice friends when all lectures are online.”