by Florith Ruigrok and Anneleen van der Meer
Although this spring Introweek introduced only a small group of students to UCR, our RASA chair was very clear: we might not think it is a big deal, but for the people joining our community, it most certainly is. So full of energy and good intentions, we put on our most Zelda-ish faces and together with the other two sets of parents, we suited up for this video games-themed week. After the notorious Meet the Parents-ceremony and the famous Class of …-picture, we brought our group of seven handsome children home for lunch and family bonding time. We philosophized about getting one million euros, who our celebrity look-a-likes are and who will sit on the Iron Throne. After being introduced to each other, it was time for our kiddos to get to know the big boards in an epic show down of drawing, drinking and deducing. We cooked dinner together and rushed back to Elliott for Dark Arcade. The RASA board and godparents really outdid themselves coming up with live action arcade games, such as Snake, Tetris and laser tag. It was a lot of fun to cheer each other on and work together to achieve the best results. Of course this day could not end without their first Elliott party, where all newbies got a chance to meet other families and the rest of the UCR students.
The second day started off with the academic morning (with breakfast), where everyone learned a great deal about the academic part of UCR-life. We picked our children at 12 to embark on an epic journey through Middelburg, during which we visited some of the most important and pretty sites in town. The classic tie wrap walk had been made considerably easier since fall 2013 (for which we are very grateful), but was still a nice addition to this literal bonding time. Via Abbey square, the library, cinema and various other places, we returned to Elliott, where we were received by an enthusiastic RASA board. Together with the other families, we played some games and did some speed dating, to also get to know the other families better. During dinner, we motivated and excited our kids for the pubcrawl and at 10 we were ready to win the drinking simulator. In the end, we didn’t, but we had a great time dancing and drinking in various bars. The afterparty in Elliott proved to be amazing once again, and we were happy to sleep in the following morning, while our kids were introduced to various RASA committees.
The committees were very successful in animating our kids. After dropping some subtle hints that we love chocolate, we dropped our family off at Chocolate Lovers, where they enjoyed a chocolate making workshop. The day continued with more food-related activities, as this was the day of the HAC Campus Dinner, passing Koestraat, Bachtensteene and Bagijnhof. Delicious food was served and we even had a tasty birthday cake for one of our kiddos, including candles. Luckily we were all warmly dressed, because this night’s activity took us to a pretty part of Middelburg, where we played Capture the Flag under the stars against Pokémon and the Mario Bros. We ended our night with drinks and bitterballen.
Thursday was the last day of Introweek, but certainly not the least. We kicked off in Elliott with the special event, in which also a team of graduates competed. Our morning was filled with film making, theatre games, painting and cupcake decorating. We then moved to the UCR sportscentre, where SportsCo prepared several sports for us to play. Especially sumo wrestling was a lot of fun. Competition and entertainment went hand in hand, in particular during the surprise game: dodge ball. Families, graduates, parents and godparents teamed up with and against each other, resulting in a chaotic but hilarious standoff. Ending this part with the famous RASA VIKINGS cheer, we had surely managed to make our children true Vikings.
This awesome week had to come to an end, and this was once again in Elliott, where the RASA board, led by Arlet, had prepared a delicious and fancy dinner. Everyone looked their best at the candlelit tables and the elaborate dinner provided something for everyone’s taste, ranging from the main course consisting of duck and sauerkraut to fruits, marshmallows and a chocolate fountain for dessert. The RASA membership certificates were handed out and Dean Oomen and Fenna gave two moving speeches. For all the new official RASA members that wanted to stay, there was a film screening of Wreck-it Ralph after a new UCR Campus News episode.
Although Introweek was intense and we were all exhausted on Thursday night, our kids and we really enjoyed ourselves and we can genuinely say that this spring Introweek was a great success. Everyone got to know each other, new friendships were forged and the 19 new students are more than ready to start their careers at UCR. A big thank you to all the kids, to the RASA board and the godparents, and to the other parents: Corine, Roy, Anne and Tsjalline for making Introweek so memorable.
Florith Ruigrok, Class of 2016, is a politics and law major from Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Anneleen van der Meer, class of 2016, is an International Relations & Anthropology major from Tiel, The Netherlands.