Student union upset by gov't plan to cancel initiation weeks over Covid concerns
Student union LSVB is "disappointed" by reports that the government plans to cancel students' initiation weeks due to concerns about the coronavirus spreading in this group. "It makes sense that sharp measures apply. But students must be able to get to know each other and the study program," LSVb vice president Freya Chiappino said in a statement.
Government sources told both NOS and RTL Nieuws that the Cabinet wants to cancel the introduction weeks for first-year students starting this September. They consider enforcement of the coronavirus rules to be too complicated at these initiation activities. Students are seen as a risk group in the spread of the virus, and the GGD health services in Amsterdam and Rotterdam both marked the popular initiation weeks as a major risk.
"Students and educational institutions have been working for some time on organizing the introduction week in a safe way. It is therefore very annoying that it cannot continue now," Chiappino said. The union previously raised concerns about students' ability to connect to each other now that so many activities have been moved online. "If your education is mainly going to be digital, you should get the chance to get to know your fellow students, your city and your college or university as a freshman."
Amsterdam student association A.S.C. A.V.S.V. already canceled its initiation week, after four of its members tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.