Student life

‘Constitutieborrel’ new style: study associations are satisfied

The last few weeks have seen a coming and going of students in the pavilion on the Van der Burghweg. It is ‘constitutieborrel’ time. Are the new standards acceptable?

The order committee of Life, the study association of the life science & technology programme, in action. (Photos: Thijs van Reeuwijk)

Nobody in the neighbourhood of the park opposite the Science Centre in the early evening would have missed them – study associations’ constitutieborrels (drinks given by study association boards to new boards of other study associations to celebrate the latter’s new boards for having been appointed). They involve singing and brassen (when young men grab each other’s jackets and wrestle each other to the ground), but are now being done differently.

This because the study associations have worked with TU Delft to establish new rules. Now that the last drinks are planned for this Wednesday and Thursday, Mischa de Gooijer, Chair of the Study Association Council (SVR) who attended each of the celebratory drinks, looks back with satisfaction. “I only heard positive stories,” he says.

The new rules for constitutieborrels can be summed up in seven points.

  • Stop if someone says stop.
  • You may push, but not hold and pull.
  • Clear up the same evening.
  • No beer throwing.
  • No stealing gifts.
  • Do not break cups.
  • Restrain yourself if others, such as parents, grandparents or the Dean, are present.

Anyone that knows the old rules for constitutieborrels is likely to find these points nothing but logical. Anyone else may wonder: pushing, why? And would you steal gifts or throw beer?

Constitutieborrels came about so that new boards can be congratulated, not only by their families and friends, but mostly by the other study associations. Traditionally the drinks involved an amicable battle among the various boards. This used to involve stealing each other’s things, throwing beer, and a lot of tussling and pushing and pulling.

All this used to happen at the faculties themselves. Since last year, the pavilion in front of the Science Centre is where this happens. Over the last few years, TU Delft and the student associations have tried to streamline the tradition, and hence the new rules.

Continue reading under the photo.

De Gooijer says that the drinks are still ‘a unique scene’ if you watch from a distance. A committee to keep order links arms and blocks access which the boards that come to congratulate the others push their way while singing and shouting. “Every board thinks itself the coolest and wants to pass its congratulations first as the sooner they get through, the more outstanding they are. It is nothing but a big game.” But a game that should be safe and fun he says. To ensure this, there are professional security officers and student emergency responders standing by on watch, and the board members are asked to restrain themselves for the benefit of the rest of the invitees.

No new agreements have been made about alcohol consumption. These rules are already laid down in TU Delft’s general policy and thus also apply to study associations. It means no alcohol consumption before 17:00, no strong drinks, and addressing each other in cases of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol free beer and soft drinks are also available at the constitutieborrels. De Gooijer is pleased about this. “I would not otherwise have been able to cope with an average of four celebrations every week.”

Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

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