Get your student time off to a good start with the INKOM
When he participated in the INKOM himself, he had no idea what kind of organisation is behind this event. With great pleasure, Mauk van Bergen is president of the Workgroup INKOM (WGI) this year, leading the five students who organise this professional event. There are only a few more tickets available, so make sure you are there! “When you take part in the INKOM, you don’t have to wonder what your new life as a student will be like. The city and all of the student associations present themselves to you and there’s something for everyone.”
Five days of activities
From 20 August, Maastricht will again be taken over for five days by the INKOM—Maastricht’s general introduction week for new students of UM and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. It’s not to be confused with hazing, because the activities are not mandatory (but they are fun). From an information market where all of the student associations present themselves, to a sports day, from a cultural festival, to a picnic or large parties in the MECC, it is the largest student event in the city.
INKOM strives for sustainability
WGI president Mauk van Bergen looks forward to things like the ‘Night at the museum’. “On Wednesday night at the Bonnefantenmuseum artists will perform throughout. I expect it to be an unforgettable evening and it was great fun to organise, together with the museum.” That evening there will also be a sustainable meal available, because this year the INKOM is going for Green Key certification. “That means no plastic forks, as well as sustainable partners for catering and measures reducing noise pollution by aggregates”, says Mauk.
New: digital payments
Because last year’s workgroup had worked a lot on the programme, the current workgroup has looked for innovation in other areas. “This year for the first time we’re only using digital payments. Even though we had the best coin machines, they sometimes got jammed during peak times. This year, participants will pay through a chip on their wristband. They can charge it using iDeal or their credit card and they can also create a pot with a group. Using this type of new application is always a bit nerve-racking, of course, but it’s a tried and tested system that we have every confidence in.”
Watch the official 2017 INKOM aftermovie
And what about alcohol during the INKOM?
The wristband also makes it clear whether someone is older than eighteen and is therefore allowed to drink alcohol. “And we’re very strict about that”, says Mauk. “Even if you’re only holding an alcoholic drink if you're under 18, you’ll be kicked out of the INKOM and if you get caught by the enforcement officers, you’ll even get a fine.” Furthermore, alcohol is never cheaper than soft drinks and mentors are also coached on how to create an atmosphere in their group to where it is not considered weird to order soft drinks. The alcohol policy was created in collaboration with Mondriaan Zorggroep. And what about the Cantus, the sing-along event for those over 18, with (according to the INKOM website) ‘an abundance of beer’? “The image is worse than the reality”, Mauk puts it into perspective. “About the same amount of beer is thrown around than is actually drunk. In terms of the atmosphere, it feels like a Rowen Hèze concert.”
Take hold of the adventure: Adventure awaits
This year’s theme, ‘Adventure awaits’, was chosen by the workgroup because that is the best way for them to characterise INKOM and student life. Mauk: “You’re entering into a new world. You’re probably going to live on your own for the first time and you might be wondering how you should organise that new life—but not if you take part in the INKOM. Take hold of the adventure with both hands and enjoy it—that’s what we want to emanate.” The connection with the city also has the attention of the group. For example, the picnic bag for the ‘picnic down the river’ will be filled this year at Maastricht’s weekmarkt.
Professional event, organised by students
In the last two weeks before the event, the WGI works overtime, together with the almost two hundred volunteers. The large events, such as the Opening at the Markt and the MECC parties, also attract many current students, or Maastricht residents. Then the number of participants peaks to seven thousand. “We organise about twenty events for around five thousand people. I know few other places where, as a 23-year-old, you can have this level of responsibility. That’s also the strength of the INKOM in my opinion. It’s a professional event, organised for and by students.” And, of course, it’s done in English because half of the participants come from abroad. “For them, it’s perhaps even more important to take part and to have a safety net in the city so quickly.”
After the INKOM: a black hole?
And then it will be Monday 20 August, 19.00, and the Workgroup INKOM can officially kick-off the party “with a push button and pink confetti, and I will also say something as president. It’s quite stressful, but also really nice.” When asked if he knows from his predecessors what it feels like when the INKOM is over? “A black hole”, he laughs. “As a group, we really click when it comes to humour and we have a shared work ethic. After the INKOM, we’ll first spend a few days together on holiday in Barcelona and then the evaluation and transfer to the new workgroup begins—and, for me, looking for a job”, he concludes.
Don’t wait too long to register
There are 3,000 tickets available for the INKOM, of which about ninety percent have been sold so far. So be quick if you want to participate. More information about the programme and ticket sales is available at: www.inkom.nl
What you might not know:
- In the past two years, the INKOM was sold out.
- About two hundred volunteers, mostly current students, help out.
- Half of the participants come from abroad.
- More than 70% of UM's incoming students take part in the INKOM.
- Groups are created with a mixed composition, but personal preferences are also taken into account.