Most of the freshers’ week activities organised by the Avans departments will take place as planned during the next two weeks. This is good news, as having a fun and enjoyable freshers’ week is very important to first-year students. These introductory activities help them get to know each other, Avans University of Applied Sciences and the city where they will be spending the next few years.
Taking stock of the freshers’ week plans, we noticed that most of the activities are in compliant with the measures that everyone in the Netherlands must follow. In many cases, these plans will require only a few minor adjustments. A thorough review of the activities was necessary in response to the stricter measures announced earlier this month by the Dutch government.
Avans had already developed a new framework in response to the coronavirus measures last June. They have, of course, been readjusted since then. There is now a ban on alcoholic beverages, all activities must end by 10:00 a.m. and no more than 25 people are permitted to gather in public spaces.
Online and on-campus activities
Apart from online freshers’ week activities, a distinction must be made between freshers’ week activities that are held on campus (i.e. on the Avans sites) – where the ‘Avans Guidelines’ prevail – and activities that take place at external organisations. These include pubs, restaurants, sports associations and theatres. These activities must take the measures imposed by these organisations into account.
Park and city centres
There are also freshers’ week activities that take place in public spaces, such as parks or city centres. All activities are subject to the approval of the Executive Board. Some are still pending approval.
Freshers’ week activities taking place in public spaces are also subject to the approval of the safety region (veiligheidsregio). We have applied for the relevant permits this week and are hoping for (and expecting) a positive outcome by the end of this week.
Avans is pleased that freshers’ week will be included in the start of the academic year as usual, even though some adjustments will need to be made due to the coronavirus measures. Several wonderful and creative alternative programmes were developed in spite of these limitations. Students will be informed of these through their department.