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Interview with an INKOM board member: Ella de Vries

You may know the INKOM, either because you participated, or because you’ve helped during this student introduction week of Maastricht.
The INKOM board is already busy with next year’s edition, and guess what, the new theme has been presented.. Curious about what you do in the INKOM board and what the theme for INKOM 2015 is? Read on!

Personal info
Name: Ella de Vries
Age: 23
Study: Medicine, 6th year
Position (Inkom): secretary

Why did you want to help organising the INKOM?

Two years ago I wanted to do something between my bachelor and master studies. Since I started studying when I was 17 years old and I would start with specified ward walking soon, this was the perfect opportunity to do something extracurricular. I looked at the possibilities of such a gap year. At that time I knew two people from the INKOM and seeing as I’m in the independent sorority Ex Aequo, I already knew a bit about this introduction week. I wanted to go in the board of the INKOM. At that point I was still too inexperienced to apply, so I waited a year while being crew-member last year.
As for what I’d like to learn during this year. I want to experience the different aspects of such a board year, learn how to set priorities and become more apt at managing stress.

When do the preparations for the INKOM start?

After the INKOM the board does an evaluation of how it went. Within this month after the INKOM the new board gets appointed and prepares for their year. The old board and Astrid Boeijen, head of the Student Service Center pick a new board. Of course a board has to be able to end their INKOM and be able to see how things went so a new board can take the points that need to be improved and integrate it in their program.

During the interview in the Student Service Center

During the interview in the Student Service Center

How many people does the INKOM team consist of?

5 board members of the INKOM, depicted in the following order (left to right): Daphne Peters (president), Charlotte Klüter (vice-president), me (secretary), Marenne Hoogenboom (treasurer) and Werner Rijkers (Logistical manager).

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The INKOM board

Where does this year’s theme come from?

The theme of the INKOM this year is ‘Time to Shine’. We came up with the theme during our first week as board, and had to keep it secret for a long time! The idea is that everyone that takes part in the INKOM, as participant, crew-member, student, commercial partners. For all of these people, it’s the time to shine!

To get a better impression on the exact meaning, check the video below.


What did you change for this year’s INKOM?

We took last year’s program and built further on that. In 2013 there was a big change in the set-up of the INKOM, where an extra day was added for instance. Seeing as we have a successful concept that works, we’re using the knowledge of the past few years. What also really helps, is that we ask our contacts and the parties involved to evaluate the cooperation and we use that in our plan on what to improve and what stays good.

What advice did the people organising the INKOM over the past years give you?

To enjoy it! The best advice that I’ve gotten is to make your own INKOM and to enjoy every minute of it. It’s also very important to organize your activities in such a way that if, God forbid, I’m sick during the INKOM, the Central Post can still organize my event, just based on my instructions and preparations.

Student Service Center

Student Service Center

What surprised you in your job?

I used to think it would be easier to organize something. But once you’re in the same position, the task seems more elaborate, also because you’re dependent on other people. As we’re working a whole year for an event of a week, it takes quite a lot of things before you can call the INKOM a done deal! People don’t realize that.

People don’t expect us….

To be busy for a whole year, but you really need it!

What is your personal highlight of the INKOM?

It sounds silly, but the registrations are crucial. All the participants are there. This year we’re improving some logistical points of the registration day. This way there’s a smaller gap between registering and the first activity.

When will you consider the INKOM a success?

That’s a tough question, I think when everyone has a fantastic INKOM. I think that organizing such an event with 5 people is tough. If that works for us without any major hiccups, it will be a success!

Why should prospective students in Maastricht definitely not miss the INKOM?

INKOM is THE week of the year for students new to Maastricht. You get the opportunity to participate in activities, party, do sports, comedy and BBQ, among other things. As you’re getting to know new people, these will become your new friends. It will be the best week of your academic year!

During the interview

During the interview

To follow INKOM on Facebook, click here.

Want to know more about the INKOM and how YOU can help? Check out the poster below and apply for one of the positions!

Want to help during INKOM? Apply now!

Want to help during INKOM? Apply now!

Interview and text by Ashika Baan, photos by Brian Megens

INKOM day 5: Maastricht Market, Mosae Master and BBQ

The last and final day of INKOM has arrived, you can see the toll of a rough week on the students. At noon, the Maastricht Market kicks off the last day. On this infomarket associations, companies, religions, sport clubs, political parties have their stand and students can go there for information. Free brunch and coffee is provided and lots of stand offer free giveaways and food. As the students partied the day before, it was quite empty until 1pm. However, students are students and will not skip free food, so it eventually got pretty busy as you can see on the pictures!

Overview of the infomarket © Brian Megens

Overview of the infomarket © Brian Megens

BreakingMaas reporting © Brian Megens

BreakingMaas reporting © Brian Megens

Fire department giving a demonstration Ps. nice shorts © Brian Megens

Fire department giving a demonstration  © Brian Megens

Paul Vermin the student agent socialising and informing students © Brian Megens

Paul Vermin (student agent) socialising and informing students © Brian Megens

The Queu for the free brunch © Brian Megens

The Queue for the free brunch © Brian Megens

The Queue for the free Coffee © Brian Megens

The Queue for the free Coffee © Brian Megens

And then everything needs to be consumed © Brian Megens

And then everything needs to be consumed © Brian Megens

At the end of the afternoon... view from a tower ladder from the fire department © Brian Megens

At the end of the afternoon, view from a tower ladder from the fire department © Brian Megens

For the Master students INKOM offered the Mosae Master. An event where the Master students could get together and find information useful for their further career, alcohol in the form of a wine tasting and food served as a tapas buffet were provided.

Mosae Master students © Brian Megens

Mosae Master students © Brian Megens

 

Dinner for the master students, Tapas mmm  © Brian Megens

Dinner for the master students, Tapas mmm © Brian Megens

 

Did I already say that they had tapas? © Brian Megens

Did I already say that they had tapas? © Brian Megens

The weather so far was pretty good keeping in mind that it was raining all day in the rest of the country, however, when it was time for the BBQ it was pooring. Luckily, tents were provided so students could enjoy their food somehow dry.

BBQ at de Griend © Brian Megens

BBQ at de Griend © Brian Megens

© Brian Megens

© Brian Megens

Students still smiling despite the weather © Brian Megens

Students still smiling despite the weather © Brian Megens

Lovely poncho © Brian Megens

Lovely poncho © Brian Megens

 

Enough food was provided! © Brian Megens

Enough food was provided! © Brian Megens

Keep on smiling Jeroen! © Brian Megens

Keep on smiling Jeroen! © Brian Megens

Unfortunately, tonight is the last party of INKOM 2014. For us it was a blast and we want to thank the organisation for making this event possible! We wish all the new students a great start of their academic adventure!

Ashika & Brian

INKOM: day 3, Sports event and Picnic

Today marked the day that the sports event and the picnic took place. We went to the Griend in the early afternoon to see what kind of sports activities were taking place. Below you can see a few impressions of the day.

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The scene at the Griend. © Brian Megens

 

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The terrain. © Brian Megens

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A game of volleyball, anyone? © Brian Megens

Some more volleyball. © Brian Megens

Some more volleyball. © Brian Megens

 

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Climbing that wall. © Brian Megens

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From the Wilhelminabrug. © Brian Megens

In the evening we enjoyed seeing all the groups sitting and having dinner with their mommies and daddies. We hoped you guys had fun. Save some energy for the party on Friday! 😉

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The picnic at the old wall. © Brian Megens

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New students enjoying dinner with their group. © Brian Megens

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People getting food at the stand. © Brian Megens

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The scene. © Brian Megens

We hope you enjoyed it, see you on Friday!

Blogpost by Ashika Baan, Photography by Brian Megens

INKOM: day 2, Day at the Faculty

Today, we visited the “Day at the Faculty” of the INKOM. After a successful opening day of the introduction week on Monday (to read more about it, click here), this was a more serious day where all the faculty associations of different faculties could present themselves to the new students.

Inside the SBE. © Brian Megens

Inside the SBE. © Brian Megens

The atmosphere at the School of Business and Economics on the Tongersestraat was relaxed, as students were walking around the information market. As there is a difference between student associations and study associations, it’s perhaps a good idea to quickly explain.

 

A student association is one where students can join to participate in fun activities outside of university. Examples of these associations are: MSV Tragos, Circumflex, SV Koko and Saurus. There are also a lot of independent sororities and fraternities.
A study association is usually closely connected to the faculty that it belongs to. For instance, the law faculty has JFV Ouranos, School of Business and Economics has SCOPE and so on. To see more what kind of associations are situated in Maastricht, click here.

© Brian Megens

© Brian Megens

As students were enjoying a nice lunch throughout the building, the excitement for Tuesday night’s MECC-party was very much there, so to everyone who’s there, HAVE FUN!

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The team responsible for handing out the lunch. © Brian Megens

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The lunch package. © Brian Megens

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Students enjoying their Lunch. © Brian Megens

See you tomorrow at the Picnic!

Blogpost by Ashika Baan, Photography by Brian Megens.

 

INKOM: day 1, Registration and Opening

The first day of an introduction week like the INKOM, marks a special moment for all the new students of Maastricht University and Zuyd Hogeschool. It’s with a lot of good memories of past years that we, Ashika and Brian, stood at the registration point of this wonderful week this morning. The big-eyed, tiny bit intimidated first-year students looked at us as we were snapping pictures for the blog and for Facebook.

Signs are clear.. This is where the magic happens ;)

Signs are clear.. This is where the magic happens. © Brian Megens

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INKOM: Interview with the President of the Work Group

On the 18th of August new students will be welcomed in Maastricht with the annual INKOM. For those attending INKOM 2014, continue the tradition of living INKOM to its fullest!  We interviewed the president of the INKOM organisation Elsemieke Hoet, a 22-year-old student at the law faculty. We were curious about the plans that Elsemieke and her colleagues have for this year’s edition.

 

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INKOM Bunker – heroes and more inside information!

Hidden, secured and being sacred, it can be called INKOM’s church. It contains almost everything that is needed during the upcoming week. Only a few persons are allowed to go in and only a few insiders know everything about it. The Bunker of INKOM 2012 has been installed. Read more

INKOM: How they will create memories….

While the countdown has started for all the freshmen and there are still 5 days, 22 hours, 48 minutes en 39 seconds left, the INKOM factory is still running at full speed. Because Maastricht’s most famous factory promises you to create memories and you are probably questioning how, I will quickly show you the highlights of this glorious week. Read more

INKOM 2012: Are you ready?

Running students, a lot of coffee, energy drinks and paracetamol, rattling computers, working photocopying and cantankerous faces. These are the things one might expect when thinking of the preparations of INKOM 2012 that will take place within two weeks. Nothing of this seems to be true… Read more

Dutch Student Associations and INKOM

INKOM vs. ‘Fresher’s Week’

A lot has happened since INKOM. I have heard a lot of feedback about INKOM – which is generally an amazing party to start off student life here in Maastricht.

However, INKOM has been mistaken by many as being an equivalent to ‘FreshersWeek’ in the UK (the first week of universities with introduction activities, but best known for the parties). INKOM began as a way for one of the biggest Student Associations in Maastricht to gain members. This was later adopted by the university but still has the overtone of ‘student association’.

Read more

INKOM: I’m International, BBQ, Multizalen Feest

On Wednesday I had the pleasure to speak at I’m International. A new event that had the purpose of giving students insight into some personal experiences of senior students. One problem: it was at 10 A.M. after a MECC party. There was no room to organize it at another time because INKOM kind of has a packed schedule. So I biked over to the LAW faculty and embraced myself. I was expecting about 4 semi- awake students, a duck and a person in coma, to turn up at the first session. There were three sessions,  so I know that  If I was interested I would join the last one.

However, after meeting my co-speakers people actually started to appear around 10ish. We got our hopes up and it actually was a huge success. Maybe the free breakfast that was included helped out a bit, but it at least mean they had to listen to us explain why we chose the organization we are affiliated with. The garden of the LAW faculty was packed with people after the presentation, just another indication of the success of the event. Maybe next year they can actually do this on a later time so even more people will join.

After working I decided to do the pubcrawl in one night instead of two.  We had to run in order to actually make it to the last bar in time, but we managed. This explains why I don’t have a lot of stories about my visit to the open party of Saurus. I guess it was a ton of fun.

The next morning I had to report at the city wall in order to build up the BBQ. I can honestly state that I’ve had days when I felt a bit better. So while killing the gruesome thirst, I basically spend my day carrying heavy shit in the sun. When I woke up I was kind of wondering why we were going to take 8 hours to build up a BBQ.  Well, I guess I turned my brains off cause having a BBQ with about 2000 people actually took us 8 hours of setting up. Luckily I turned my brains off prior to the INKOM as well, cause I agreed on doing both the build-up and the break-down shifts. It basically meant that I could spend another 5 hours there. I was physically destroyed afterwards and was actually in doubt whether I would go on that night.

But because I considered myself to be a pussy if I wouldn’t, I decided that it was time for some pre-drinks so I at least wouldn’t feel me feet anymore. It actually worked and I made my way towards Tragos and their infamous Multizalen Feest (Multiple room party; no need to explain the concept do I?). I always like those parties and this one was no exception. It was extremely crowded but a lot of fun. This party almost made me doubt whether I would actually join Tragos.. almost..

 

 

INKOM: Sports day & open party.

Wednesday 13AM: Welcome at the sports event of the Inkom 2011. Unfortunately, there’ll be no beer. So what do you do when you’re dead-tired from the first MECC party and the after party at M.S.V. Tragos which lasted ‘till 6AM, when you’re hungry for beer and obliged to promo for your student association? Find the couches at some Dutch bank stand giving away free ‘poffertjes’ (delicious Dutch mini pancakes) and try to catch up some of the sleep you’ve missed so badly. Promo is like an aura you wear, if you’re a natural talent at it like me, you can do it napping.

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INKOM: opening day & MECC

07.00 hrs: My phone wakes me up to tell me to go and have a breakfast and a shower. Not a welcoming sound after hardly having slept due to the thunder and my (idiotic) refusal to actually close the windows and shut the curtains. I still have got no clue why I didn’t do it.

07.30 hrs: Parking my bike at Randwijck and mentally prepping myself for the brute labor we were supposed to do in order to set the DIMI (that’s what the beginning of INKOM is called) up.

07.45 hrs: the start of me climbing into market stalls and under parts of the podium in order to egt them fixed.

09.45 hrs: I have been assigned to the big screen. My task: making sure that all the group mentors are being called to their appropriate spots on their appropriate times. It’s basically putting the numbers on a huge screen, while mixing it up with the promotion video of all the sponsors and organisations

12.00 hrs: still at it

14.30 hrs. Done.

14.45 hrs: Changing clothes and grabbing a quick shower before going to work at the Student Service Center.

17.00 hrs: I make my way towards the market square. The official opening party is taking place. I arrive completely sober to a crowd of people who are less sober than me. The vibe is good and the party is a success. Too bad the town hall put restrictions on the sound level. If they could have turned up the volume a bit more it would have been perfect.

19.00 hrs: We are grabbing some dinner. Because I’m in the crew I basically can go to everything all other INKOM participants can go to. This includes all the dinners. Success.

20.00 hrs: Me and Shona are going to the Guesthouse. I’ve got not idea why but we did.

21.00 hrs: We join part of the ESN guys in the ‘Twee Heeren”. We are there to promote us amongst the students who visit the ‘Twee Heeren’ during the pubcrawl. With promoting I mean putting up our flag and drinking whilst standing next to it.

23.00 hrs: We make our way towards the MECC for the first of two MECC

01.30 hrs: I decide that I have had enough. The combination of alcohol and happy hardcore by Paul Elstak was enough to get me to become completely destroyed.  I am not a die-hard and leave early.

02.00 hrs: I’m finally in bed. Even though I live about 2 minutes from the MECC it took me about half an hour to get there. Yes that explains enough.

 

Heineken Party

So I have been radio silent for a little while, but for a good cause.  I have been part of the press team for the income and so have been busy going to many events and trying to make sure all the events are covered for the INKOMentaar.  Tonight I am going to get to actually fully appreciate an event: THE HEINEKEN PARTY!  Since there is no press release for tomorrow I will have no responsibilities and can party as hardy as I want to. Read more

Update. Summer> Maastricht> INKOM

I apologise for not posting any blogs in a while, I have been very busy what with family summer holidays (apparently wifi access is almost impossible to get in the north of Scotland…), student finance applications, working in Maastricht and seeing all my friends and family in Edinburgh.

[Not all of these things however, are unrelated – as you will see in my post ‘Student Study Finance: A Blessay’ there is a lot to be done when applying for student finance.]

Although excuses out of the way, I have posted 3-for-the-price-of-one blogs in one dollop – so there is more than enough blog-ness to be getting on with.

The summer holidays drawing to an end for many, and as I write this there is a raging storm outside which pretty much signals the end to sun, ice-cream and shorts…

Behind me is my family holiday to the Isle of Skye, off the West coast of Scotland (see above re: lack of internet), as are my rounds of family/friends catching up with in Edinburgh. Also behind me are the days of stressing about study finance, my job in Maastricht and moving apartments. It was really nice seeing my friends and family who I have missed massively and now I am back in Maastricht. I have been working in Maastricht for most of August and can’t wait for my uni friends to return! J

Ahead for many a Maastricht student is returning to the city of cobbles, or the settling in for the first time for the many 1st year students arriving this August/September. Therefore it also goes without saying that a large amount of students will be looking forward to the huge introduction party in Maastricht: INKOM.

INKOM (for those who don’t know) is a city-wide introduction festival  for 5 days with parties, info events, parades and lots more! See http://www.inkom.nl/?lang=en for details.

I will be covering the various events of INKOM in FULL (or as full as I can make it without collapsing from the awesomeness of it all). So if you want to know what is hot/not/medium/weird/too dutch/not dutch enough/too drunken/too sober/must bring your own umbrella, drink, food, clothes or flying elephant – then this is the place to keep checking up on for INKOM updates! J

Also ahead of many is the beginning of a new academic year – which means new books, new stationary, new friends (optional), new tutors, new courses and lots of other new interesting stuffys and thingys.

With that can also come lots of renewed nerves/anxiety about starting up again. Especially for those starting first year.

I, personally am a little nervy (eg. will my new courses be too difficult?, will I be able to hold down a job on top of this?, will I make new friends or will my pet dragon put people off…. etc etc). So I have been doing lots of relax-y/chill-y things like saunas, face masks, long baths, good movies (and bad ones) as well as a good dose of cola (my latest addiction).

For now I hope you enjoy my two other “informative” blogs and good luck with the start of uni again!

Maastricht university’s international population: INKOM groups

In about a month one of the most high expected events of Maastricht takes off: the INKOM. It is the festival of students in Maastricht. Traditionally the event focuses on new students. One of the biggest student associations created it in order to get more new members.  During the years this evolved to a festival where all aspects of studying in Maastricht were presented. The university started backing it up and currently it is one of the most successful introduction week of the Netherlands.

However as the INKOM started to move in the direction of becoming a general introduction week a discrepancy started to emerge. On one side you have (most of) the traditional student associations and sororities/fraternities the people who still see the INKOM as a way to get members. On the other side you have those who see INKOM as a general introduction into student life of Maastricht.

The INKOM has been somewhat of a hot topic throughout this year. How come? The current WGI (the people behind INKOM) refused to change the policy of mixed INKOM groups.  They (and so is the university) are heavily in favor of having several nationalities per INKOM group. This way they believe that integration amongst people from different backgrounds will be easier. The INKOM is one of the first moments where new students meet other people, which is accompanied by friendship, drinking, a bit of culture as well as heavily relying on the well dispensed free condoms for those who seek more than friendship.  A good moment to start integrating wouldn’t you say.

However not everyone is in favor of the mixed groups.  Some people openly state that they are against mixed INKOM groups. I can imagine that (yet won’t agree with) the traditional associations complaining. They see it as a week to gather as much fresh meat and battle to see who has the most gruesome hazing period. Less Dutch members in their groups (they are overrepresented during INKOM) means less first years to run errands for them for the entire year. However I don’t see why anyone who has some brain cells left would think that getting back to the old system of separated groups would be a good plan. It will further enhance the ‘group’ feeling we have in Maastricht Dutchies, Germans and other). I know people like to stick to people of their own ‘nation’ because it is easier to get into contact with them and feel a bit more confident.

However, avoiding people with other backgrounds will be quite hard in Maastricht with the most international student population of the Netherlands. Why avoid other nationalities when sooner or later you will run in to them after all. I therefore salute the INKOM for sticking to the mixed groups,  as well as making their program more accessible for everyone.

This is on a personal account and I can understand that people will disagree. If you do so, please let me know. What do you think? Should we have mixed groups or not?