The organisers of the KEI week, the introduction week for new students in Groningen, is ditching plastic tokens and switching to a more sustainable wrist band payment system.
After fifty years, the coins with the KEI logo are replaced by a digital payment system. During this year’s edition, which starts on Monday, 12 August, every KEI participant (new student), KEI leader (chaperone) and volunteer will receive a wrist band with a payment chip. Student can use the wristbands to pay for drinks and food.
Residents of the city of Groningen can also collect a debit card at the top up points: a large number of the public events during this year’s KEI week are meant to bring students and Stadjers closer together.
The payment bands are an effort to make the KEI week more sustainable and greener. The board of the introduction week has been making similar efforts for years. In 2017, the KEI week received a Green Key, an international quality assurance mark for sustainable companies and events.
This year, the 6,500 KEI participants called “lopers” will also receive fabric bags instead of plastic bags, and disposable cups will be replaced by reusable hard plastic cups at some locations. Students will also be encouraged to eat vegetarian food for a day. The KEI Sustainability Award is also presented during the introduction week, which is a prize for the most sustainable (student) organization.
The KEI Week has been a tradition in Groningen for decades, during which thousands of rising first year students and other new arrivals get to know the city’s social scene, cultural offerings, sports facilities and student organisations. The 2019 edition will take place from 12 to 16 August in the city centre of Groningen.