1165 København K
Tlf: 35 32 28 98 (mon-thurs)
Intro day — Thursday, 16th August had new students meeting each other for the first time on South Campus. It was a day with joy, anxiety and rousing speeches from the Student Council. Our student reporter was there.
A nervous, confused, atmosphere gradually spreads out across South Campus. Around the KUA3 lawn, small clusters of people stand with folded arms and shifty eyes.
The new students are welcomed by their tutors, members of the Student Council, and a lot of volunteers, already at the Islands Brygge metro station
The glances of the multitude search the flags, banners and signs among the growing crowd. Each specifies the name of one of the many study programmes where the new student will spend the next year.
The new students are welcomed by their tutors, members of the Student Council, and a lot of volunteers, already at the Islands Brygge metro station. They have all turned up to give the best possible start to the UCPH experience for the new students. It is Thursday, it is a few minutes before 17, and after one the hottest summers in living memory, it is finally the day when the Student Council holds its annual fresher event. South Campus (popularly known as KUA) is the setting. Today, all the new students get the opportunity to meet their fellow students for the first time.
The worst confusion gradually starts to subside as the new students find their places under the right banners and signs. In most cases, after being guided there by the various volunteers.
The crowd continues to grow, and as the clock strikes five, a throng of freshmen students and their tutors are dressed in colourful t-shirts on the lawn at KUA3.
The air is full of excitement, nervousness and enthusiasm. Gradually small semi-circles start to take shape, and before long we have perfect circles. Around these, the committed tutors try hard to initiate conversations, and after a while the mission succeeds, as a loud murmur spreads over the lawn.
The enthusiastic murmur only falls off when two representatives of the Student Council take up the makeshift stage on the lawn. Humorous comments and jokes elicit a nervous laughter in the audience, testimony to the tense atmosphere that has not yet completely evaporated.
As Chairman of the Student Council, Amanda Büchert, enters the stage. Her focus is on the repeated cuts to study programmes, the cap on new studies, and the study progress reform.
“It is important that you remember that it is your university,” says Amanda Büchert and continues:
“In recent years, politicians have again and again given lower priority programme. The annual cuts are still rolling on. And the study progress reforms and education cap restricts our freedom as a student.”
In recent years, politicians have again and again given lower priority to education
She encourages new students to get involved with the study environment – also across disciplines and across classes.
“It is when we meet across the different subjects that we really can do something,” she says, and stresses the importance of standing together in a time when the students’ co-determination is under threat.
“It is our task to disgrace the politicians when they claim that it would be better with a unified management and less student influence, because are not right. Our knowledge and experience is indispensable, and I hope that you will help show them.”
When rector Henrik Wegener comes on stage to welcome the new students, many of the same themes pop up again.
“Make a difference!” he says with power in his voice and like Amanda Büchert he encourages the new students to make use of the influence they have. “Take this responsibility, and use it,” he says.
The rector’s speech ends in loud applause. As Henrik Wegener admits, this is perhaps mostly enthusiasm for what is about to happen next, rather than enthusiasm about the speech itself.
The new freshmen students are about to get to know their fellow students. Each study programme is assigned an area on the South Campus premises. Here, the new students, by way of various games and team-building exercises, are given the opportunity to get to know each other.
Questions abound on whether there should be pineapples on pizza, or whether crime series are better than comedies
Questions abound on whether there should be pineapples on pizza, or whether crime series are better than comedies. There will be speed networking, new names learnt, and laughing.
Toasts are made, and there is conversation, shared pizza slices and thai food boxes in the food stalls which have been rolled on to the KUA premises for the occasion. The excitement is still hanging in the air, but it is now accompanied by laughter. There is every indication that the hopes of getting closer to each other will be fulfilled. Towards sundown, as the many new freshman students and their tutors again moves out on to the lawn at KUA3, an enthusiastic murmur again arises in the crowd. This time a little higher pitched.