Someone in the Dutch government has realised that having thousands of drunk students ‘getting to know each-other’ might not have great public health consequences!
The introduction week for freshers, which should start on Monday, is in doubt. The Dutch government are considering axing the introduction weeks for new students, with concerns about the rapid spread of the Coronavirus among students. According to RTL News, the measure is likely to be announced Thursday evening (tonight) by Prime Minister Rutte and Minister De Jonge during a press conference.
Insiders say that the decision is not yet in fully decided, but that there is a only very small chance that the entry weeks will be allowed to go ahead. It is thought that the combination of large groups of new students, alcohol, and an unfamiliar city may lead to ‘super-spreader’ events.
The possible scrapping of the week through Coronavirus measures has significant consequences for the Groningen introduction “KEI” week. KEI had already been scaled down considerably, but the small physical programme wouldn’t be able take place: it was hoped that an information market could take place on the Suikerunieterrein every day. A KEI route through the city center and in-house tours at student associations were also planned.
The online KEI week will probably continue anyway. Various workshops, talk shows, KEI Talks, interviews and DJ sets are to be broadcast online.
The organization of the KEI week has already announced that it will await the press conference before making any decisions itself. In principle, the KEI week will take place from 10 to 14 August. Normally, the introduction week attracts around 5,000 new students to Groningen from across the Netherlands.