From a social perspective, the student associations may have had their most boring year ever because of the corona restrictions, but their popularity has not waned. Quite the opposite. Like last year, most TU Delft student associations have many more registrants than membership capacity. In the case of the ‘general’ student associations, the number of registrations is somewhat stabilising after they peaked dramatically last year at 60% more than the previous year. The biggest growth this academic year is at the student sports associations. The boarders at DROP and the rowers at DSRV Laga had about 40% more registrations than last year, while the number at the Proteus-Eretes rowing association more than doubled.
Avoiding a mismatch
The huge popularity may be flattering for the associations, but the other side of the coin is that many students will be disappointed. Even worse under these circumstances is if the members who get through the draw drop out after a while. To avoid this, several associations have raised the registration bar. Students may have to visit the clubs several times to register, for example. And Virgiel, the biggest student association at TU Delft, is running ‘a very long’ questionnaire this year. “The idea is to be better able to filter out the people who have not done much background reading about our association and thus avoid misleading expectations,” explains External Commissioner, Martijn Oetelmans.
By far the most registrants are Dutch students (see: If you want to join a big fraternity you need to speak Dutch), but the ‘specialised’ associations also draw the attention of international students. The Christian C.S.R. for example reports that two of the 64 members have international roots. And the football club Ariston has about 20 new international members.
National figures on the number of registrations and draws for student associations are not yet available. De Landelijke Kamer van Verenigingen (LKvV, the National Chamber of Societies) reports that it is still talking to its members. To make the TU Delft picture complete: the numbers of new members for non-LKvV associations AEGEE-Delft (40 new members) and Outsite (34 new members) remained about the same as in the previous academic year, and the Christian VGSD reports seven new members.