[Column] Stop moaning, beer is enjoyable

Bas Rooijakkers finds the OWee rules too strict. What better way is there to break the ice than by having a few refreshing drinks?

Bas Rooijakkers: “Until a new Cabinet takes office, I’m holding my breath.” (Photo: Sam Rentmeester)

To me, the OWee, the buzzing meeting week for new TU Delft students, symbolises the period in which TU Delft shows its liveliest side. The atmosphere is fun, there is music in the air, and new friendships are made. Unfortunately, my graduation meant that I could not join in this year, but the memories of this lively event stay fresh in my mind. The OWee is an inviting event in which TU Delft shines. So it is disappointing that some aspects of the week are being curtailed in an attempt to protect the newcomers who are seen as blank slates.

Painting a naked body is now out of the question and it looks like everything is being examined in minute detail. But one area where some swear that protection is needed the most is alcohol. And this is where I have mixed feelings. I must admit that while I enjoy a beer, I also see the problems it can bring.

Student life, often said to be the best time of your life, starts during the introduction week. It is a crucial period in which shy 18 year olds create a circle of friends and find their place in the student community. And to be honest, what better way is there to break the ice than by having a few refreshing drinks? At the same time, I realise all too well that beer is very much enjoyed at TU Delft. One of the first skills I learned when I arrived was ‘spies trekken’. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means to drink your beer through a straw so that you can drink it faster.

If alcohol becomes too expensive at parties, everyone will just drink at home

At the heart of the OWee is giving new students the feeling of where they belong. The choice of whether or not to drink alcohol has always been up to individual students. But now, various measures have been adopted to limit alcohol consumption: no beer before 17:00, lower alcohol percentages, smaller beers, and stricter control of free drinks. It goes without saying that these measures will have an effect. If you have to pay more for less beer, this will of course put off some people. But I do wonder if this kind of brake really will change the culture. If alcohol becomes too expensive at parties, everyone will just drink at home.

Let’s be honest. It is not only students, but the residents of Delft too that enjoy a good glass of beer. Delft embraces its reputation as a historic and innovative city of which the beer culture is an inherent part. Its centuries old craft beer breweries and friendly beer cafés give the city a unique atmosphere. It offers a huge choice in locally brewed beer and whether you wander round the cobbled streets or relax by a canal, you will be immersed in its beer culture.

Delft’s beer culture is not only an ode to tradition, but also bridges the past and the present, bringing the historic art of brewing and modern innovation together. While the Technical University of Delft creates pioneering spirits, the city celebrates its liquid heritage. It reminds us that Delft values all forms of creativity, even when manifested in the form of a delicious glass of beer.

Bas Rooijakkers is a master’s student in Applied Physics. He was born in Brabant and spent part of his youth on Curaçao. He enjoys jogging and since the corona pandemic has also picked up cycling. He is also always in for a coffee or a craft beer.

Bas Rooijakkers / Columnist

Columnist Bas Rooijakkers

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