[Blog] Extra supervision on one and a half meters

This year’s welcoming week (OWee) for first year students is different than ever. Delta reports about the online and offline activities in this blog.

(Photo: Marjolein van der Veldt)

  • Friday August 21, 11:03 AM
    During the physical part of the OWee, we will take a look back on last year. What did the campus and the city look like then?fotovergelijking5_owee_mvdv.jpg

    On Sunday, the OWee normally kicks off with a big barbecue and a parade. Along the Schie there would be dozens of picnic tables surrounded by cheerful freshmen watching a parade of clubs passing by. This always attracts a lot of attention: not only students, but also Delft residents marvel at the rowing boats and trampolines on wheels. This year, the Oostsingel is deserted. Local residents enjoy the evening sun in their front gardens or on their balconies while associations present themselves online to the new wave of students.

  • Friday August 21, 9:49 AM
    2590 first year students are participating in the physical OWee this week. Last year, the reception week had 3125 participants. The number of people starting a study at TU Delft is almost equal. On reference date August 17, there were 4951 preliminary registrations, compared to 4928 at the same time in 2019.
  • Thursday August 20, 4:15 PM
    Getting to know your new fellow students can be quite difficult at a meter and a half distance. Despite the measures taken, last Monday the OWee board received signals from law enforcement and the municipality of Delft. At some places in the city centre OWee participants were not keeping enough distance. “We reacted immediately,” says OWee board member Mennolt Verhaar. “We put extra people at the bridges to and from the city centre. With the help of megaphones they address groups of students to stick to the protocol. In the city centre, three couples (wearing yellow vests) are also cycling around to inform students.” On campus, too, participants are actively informed. For example, the OWee board is doing extra rounds and there are banners on both the information market and the OWee Community terrace.
  • Thursday August 20, 2:29 PM
    During the physical part of the OWee, we will take a look back on last year. What did the campus and the city look like then?
    thumbnail_IMG_20200820_122706_1.jpgAt the site where Delft student associations presented themselves en masse last year, market vendors are now advertising their wares. This year, the information market takes place at and around sports and cultural centre X. Associations have their own stall there, just like every year, but what is striking are the differences. People have to keep a meter and a half distance from each other and because of Cabinet measures it is forbidden for associations to promote or register members. Associations therefore mainly approach members through social media.
  • Thursday August 20, 12:34 PM
    Both the Delftsch Studenten Corps (DSC) and Virgiel call on first-year students via social media to make a choice between both student associations. “We hear that a lot of people have doubts between both associations,” the OWee committee of Virgiel explains. “Because the membership of both associations can’t be combined, we want registrants to make a choice in advance. For both DSC and Virgiel it is nice if this choice is made for the draw.”
  • Thursday August 20, 10:25 PM
    Student sports associations were hoping, despite the corona measures, to be able to register many members at the annual information market, as they previously told Delta. That is turning out differently. Few mentor groups are finding their way to the information stalls, the associations tell us. Arthur Kordes of student korfballclub Paal Centraal: “The atmosphere at this year’s information market is very different from other years. Usually it’s very easy to have a chat with freshmen. But so far very few people have been to our stall.”

    Moreover, because of government policies, associations are officially not allowed to promote themselves or to register members on the market. They are only allowed to give information about what they do. Kordes: “At most we can refer them to our website and tell them about our open training sessions.” These will be held on 31 August and 3, 7 and 10 September.
  • Thursday August 20, 9:08 PM
    With the physical part of the introduction period in full swing, some first-year master students are forced to stay inside as they spend 14 days in obligatory quarantine. We spoke to three of them. “I hope TU Delft will prepare a second, more compact introduction for students who are in a similar position as myself.” Read the whole story here.
  • Wednesday August 19, 4:56 PM
    What does the OWee information market look like this year? Associations have their own stalls just as other years, but there are some differences. Everyone has to keep a distance of one and a half meters from each other and because of Cabinets’ measures it is forbidden for associations to promote or register members. In addition, stalls of smaller students associations have very few students visiting them, says Julian van Loo of AEGEE-Delft, a student travel association with 170 European sister associations. “We normally bring in about fifty new members during and in the two weeks after the OWee. But at this moment we have only eight actual registrations and a handful of interested people.”
    The reason? OWee participants do not walk around the market independently, but in groups. “Other years, freshmen wander around on their own and have a chat with us. This year, freshmen only have one physical day with their group which means they stick together a lot. These groups do visit the stalls of the large associations, but skip the less well-known ones. And because of corona measures you don’t approach a group for a chat easily.”
  • Wednesday August 19, 3:15 PM
    Since two days the OWee Community terrace is opened not only to OWee participants, but also to people from Delft. Yet there is not much interest, OWee board member Joost Jansen said. “But we are doing our best to raise more attention. Yesterday, for example, mayor Marja van Bijsterveldt came by. She shared a photo of her visit on Twitter, which is good promotion.” Do you want to visit the OWee Community terrace? You can sign up every day from 15:30.

  • Wednesday August 19, 12:04 PM
    During the physical part of the OWee, we will take a look back on last year. What did the campus and the city look like then?
    Lunch with loud music in the background. While last year the Mekelpark was the central meeting place for mentor groups, freshmen now only cross the park on their way to their next destination: the information market at X or for drinks on the OWee Community terrace. 
  • Wednesday August 19, 11:08 AM
    Student associations may still hold information meetings in the near future. Will that change anything in Delft? You can read it here.
  • Wednesday August 19, 11:05 AM
    The obligatory home quarantine for people travelling to the Netherlands from areas with orange travel advice because of corona has been reduced from fourteen to ten days. This was announced by Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health, Welfare & Sport) during a press conference on Tuesday 18 August. his is good news for, in particular, international students travelling to Delft for the start of the new academic year. The new regulations will apply from Wednesday 19 August and will therefore come too late for students who are now missing out on the physical part of the introduction week due to the mandatory home quarantine.
  • Tuesday August 18, 5:18 PM
    During this unusual OWee, first-year students come to Delft for one instead of five days. As a result, a maximum of five hundred instead of about three thousand students can be found in the centre every day. We asked people in Delft if they noticed the difference. “Is the introductory week going on now? You wouldn’t say,” replied Willem van der Meij. He lives in the city centre and has just closed his front door behind him to go shopping. “Other years there’s a program at my door, although I don’t know exactly what. It doesn’t bother me very much. It’s always over in the afternoon and students leave things neat and tidy.”
    City resident Ronald Verkade, who is just taking an afternoon stroll, did notice something. “I see a lot more young students this year showing their parents the city.” He thinks it’s an endearing sight. For Ronald, students belong to Delft. “I’d like the city a lot less without the liveliness students bring with them. As far as I’m concerned, next year can be a normal OWee again.”

  • Tuesday 18 August, 1:33 PM
    During the physical part of the OWee, we will take a look back on last year. What did the campus and the city look like then?


    Traditionally, the official part of the introduction week starts with the singing of the study association songs. Freshmen learn slogans like ‘Wij worden toch jouw baas (We will become your boss anyway)’ during the first year weekend preceding the OWee.
    This year it is all a little different. For example, the first year weekend now takes place online and after the introduction week, and besides that it is out of the question to get together in large groups to sing. Nevertheless, study association Curius has found a solution. “We will teach the songs online during the first year weekend and will try to hype it up a bit during the physical OWee on the community terrace.”

  • Tuesday 18 August, 10:49 AM
    First year student Maurits Dekker fell in love with the industrial design programme during an open day at TU Delft. Though the start to his studies is different than expected, he’s making the most of it and is hopeful for the future. Read his story.
  • Monday 17 August, 6:20 PM
    Last Friday night, the police broke up a party held in two student houses on the Coenderstraat in Delft. There were about 100 people at the party and none of them adhered to the corona rules. The police officers and the Permits Monitoring and Enforcement Department of the Municipality of Delft dished out fines of EUR 390. Read more here.
  • Monday 17 August, 3:08 PM
    This year’s introduction week (OWee) is different than ever. During the physical part of the OWee, we will take a look back on last year. What did the campus and the city look like then?
    On the small picture (right corner below) the TU Delft logo with in the background the entrance of the Basecamp, where mentor groups normally came together for breakfast and lunch. This year no Basecamp, but a Delft Community Terrace. OWee participants end the day here with their group. Delft residents are also welcome, after registration. Reservations can be made after 15:00 on the day itself.
  • Monday 17 August, 1:19 PM
    Planning the safety and security aspects of OWee under constantly changing restrictions has been challenging. Rik van Veen, TU Delft Project Leader Integral Safety and Security, says the entire team has done a great job adapting. And that stays important this week. “We have to keep in mind that if we don’t follow the guidelines then the municipality of Delft can say that they won’t allow it to go ahead. It’s not a big concern, but we do have to be aware of that.” Read our interview with Rik here.
  • Monday 17 August, 11:55 AM
    Although things might have seemed quiet on the digital OWee Delft platform the last few days, everyone in the OWee office has been running at full speed. We took a look there.
  • Monday 17 August, 10:22 AM
    The first physical day of the OWee has started. Mentor groups of three studies (civil engineering, life science and technology en molecular science and technology) will visit the TU Delft campus and the large student associations in the city centre. A terrace has been built on the next to the TU Delft Library. OWee participants and residents of Delft can have a drink there upon reservation. At the moment, it is still quiet on campus.

    IMG_3574 (1)_0.jpg(Photo: Annebelle de Bruijn) 

  • Sunday 16 August, 7:20 PM
    The recording of DJ set ‘Door het Dak’ has been moved from the roof of the EEMCS building to the TU Delft auditorium due to bad weather. DJ duo Mr. Belt & Wezol will start playing at 9:30 PM. The set can be followed live via the OWee digital platform.

  • Sunday 16 August, 2:55 PM
    Not Tim Hofman (food poisoning), but television presenter Jan Versteegh joined the online OWee Collegetour this afternoon. During an hour, he spoke with presenter and TU Delft alumnus Luuk Dresen about his student days and about mental health, one of the central themes of this OWee. Versteegh said that he does not envy the current generation of students. “I think there is less balance between study and life now than in my time. There is more pressure to study within the official time period with no delays because you don’t get a student grant, but have to borrow the money.” Nevertheless, he hopes that the freshmen will ‘live a little’ during their student years. “Don’t punish yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It shouldn’t be like looking back at 40 and thinking, ‘It’s a shame I never partied’.”
  • Sunday 16 August, 1:30 PM
    Photo: Marjolein van der Veldt
    Student association Sint Jansbrug is setting up an adapted membership stop this year. Only 120 students can become a member. The first sixty applicants are sure of a place. The other sixty have to draw lots. The association has published this on its website. This year, the acquaintance time should be digital. That is why Jansbrug chooses a smaller group of newcomers than other years.
  • Saturday 15 August, 5:30 PM
    Erasmus University has completely excluded the Rotterdam student association S.S.R. from the introduction week. This decision followed after 23 members contracted the coronavirus during a trip to Greece. In a press release (in Dutch), the board of the student association states that it agrees with the physical exclusion from the introduction programme, but that it does not see any risk of infection with regard to online activities. On Monday, the board will have further talks with the rector magnificus of Erasmus University.
  • Saturday 15 August 1:00 PM
    Can I join as a seventeen-year-old? And what does a club night look like? During the association forum, the Delft sports, cultural and social associations debated various topics and answered questions from online OWee participants.

    (Screenshot Livestream OWee association forum)
    Although becoming a member of an association is not something that can be taken for granted these days, vice rector Rob Mudde called on freshmen to do join an association.“Don’t underestimate how important a social network is,” he said in a short video clip. Especially for technical students, it is good to look for broadening beyond technology. It is important to understand how you as a student relate to the outside world. Make sure you join an association, don’t become isolated. In the coming period, look around what is out there and find something that suits you. There is a broad spectrum of associations, there is something for everyone.”
    During the online OWee, participants can follow live streams from the various associations on a daily basis. During the physical OWee (17 to 23 August) there is also an opportunity for freshmen to visit a number of clubs in the city centre.

  • Saturday 15 August, 10:00 AM
    Corona makes it difficult for student associations to recruit members, as it does for DISS, the Delft International Student Society. President Nikhil Nadella nevertheless hopes that he will be able to realise his ambition to connect international and Dutch students. Delta interviewed him. 
  • Friday 14 August, 3:00 PM

    This morning, the Haaglanden Safety Region issued an exemption (in Dutch) for the physical OWee, which starts on 17 August. Due to corona, meetings for the recruitment and introduction of students are prohibited, but an exception has been made for the OWee. Under certain conditions it is allowed to get together with a maximum of 528 people. The document arrived just before the opening of the welcoming week at 12:00 noon.

  • Friday 14 August, 2:00 PM
    Create an app group, make a proposal round and start the conversation. With these and other tips, mentors should try to get the interaction with their OWee groups going. Delta attended their training day and made this report.

  • Friday, August 14, 10:00 AM
    Organizing the OWee was a huge challenge for the board this year. The normal plans suddenly no longer applied and uncertainty about tightening and relaxing corona measures demanded enormous stress resistance and flexibility. How did they manage to get a programme up and running anyway? Delta interviewed board members Suzanne Post and Mennolt Verhaar. Read the whole story here.
Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.