Anouk and I prepared for our journey to Groningen, which is quite a long train ride. We both had enough to do to kill the time, at least for the first three hours. The fact that this would be a long ride was not very surprising, for as Groningers put it themselves: ‘Er gaat niets boven Groningen’, since there is practically nothing north of Groningen.
In all honesty, the last hour to Groningen there is almost nothing else to see than the country side and some sheep. However, once you are there it truly feels like a student city. We were somewhat early so we had the opportunity to see a bit of the campus, which is filled with modern, colorful buildings. Once we had found the room VESTING is settled in, we could start our interview with Lidewey (External Affairs) and Jorrit (Secretary). A bit later Pim (Vice Chairman and Treasurer) and Jeroen (Chairman) joined. Unfortunately, we did not have the pleasure of meeting Lise (Internal Affairs).
VESTING orginally stands for ‘Vereniging voor Econometriestudenten Studerende IN Groningen’. It was actually brought to life after their magazine GAXEX. The magazine currently exists 38 years and VESTING will celebrate its fifth lustrum in October. There were not always five board members, as in the past there were six or seven board members. Pim explains to us that at first there were not as many committees as they currently have and therefore the board had to do much more themselves. Jeroen enlightens us about a special characteristic of VESTING, namely that you have the possibility to contribute to the association even when you are no longer a student, via ‘Vriend van VESTING’. You are able to be a ‘Vriend van VESTING’ under the condition that you donate more than 25 euro to VESTING. Once you have become a donator, you will receive a golden nametag which will be placed upon a shield. There is even one duo that really likes to be on top, so much that they are prepared to pay whatever it takes to remain at this position.
Since Groningen is rather far away from just about everything, we wonder what it is like to be a student here and why you have chosen to study here?
Jorrit: Groningen is one of the nicest student cities, you can go out every night.
Lidewey: We have two streets were there are so many nice bars. You have enough choice and you will find students there the entire week. There is even a sort of schedule for the week: Monday is committee evening, Tuesday is house evening, Wednesday is the evening for your association, Thursday is just a general party evening and on Friday most of the students will be going home. We also have a lot of sport associations.
Pim: I come from Amstelveen, so actually Amsterdam would have been a more logical choice. I have doubted for quite a while, but I have chosen for Groningen, since it is a bit smaller and more of a student city. It is indeed a sort of island, which ensures that almost all students live in lodges.
Jeroen: I just come from the province of Groningen, even from the same village as Janinke Tol, one of your old board members.
Lidewey: It is just very nice that it is smaller and that you are able to know the professors quite well.
Jorrit: Yes, that is perhaps just something from the north: being easy to approach.
VESTING also makes sure that you can enjoy a good party. They organize a drink once every two months in their pub ‘De Blauwe Engel’, which is quite a famous and notorious pub. At these drinks beer costs only fifty cents, so they are very well attended. They also have a final party at the end of the year, and this year’s theme is full moon. Obviously, the lustrum will be a great party as well, but unfortunately they cannot share details about this. Lidewey tells us they have a lot of formal activities as well, of which the most successful is their congress. A surprising formal event of VESTING is their Sleepless Night, which is a very popular event where students will visit a company and try to solve a case. They will sleep in the neighborhood of the company and end this wonderful experience by having breakfast with the company.
When did you become active and how do you like being the board of VESTING?
Lidewey: I have become active in my first year in the sport committee and after this I have been a mentor at our introduction camp and I have organized the career days.
Jorrit: In my first year I was still living at home, which is only half an hour away. In my second year I joined the same committee as Lidewey.
At VESTING there are moments at which it is possible to join a committee, unlike with Asset | Econometrics, namely in September, February and May. However, at VESTING you need to apply for a specific committee. Now since our interviewees have only just begun as a board member, we wonder how they like it so far.
Lidewey: It is really so much fun and you learn so much: from being more efficient to having unique opportunities at companies.
Jorrit: And you go to places you would normally not be able to go as a student.
Jeroen: You just dive in and it is rather a big switch between student and board member, certainly because you immediately have a constitution drink where you get to know so many new people.
Jorrit: It all goes by so fast.
Pim: Actually you just have no clue what you started with.
Is there anything else we should know about VESTING?
First of all, they are all very proud upon the fifty cent candy shop they have and I must confess it is a rather impressive assortment they have. They have a huge fridge filled with all sorts of soda and you can pay with your university card. However, when we talk a bit longer we slowly get to the more juicy details of VESTING. Obviously, we cannot address all their escapades, but we will dive into their constitution drinks, since there are some nice differences between these drinks in Groningen and Tilburg.
Jeroen: I believe our consti’s are a bit wilder.
Pim: We will also ‘bras’, meaning we will try to steal something from the new board. This can be the ‘pedelstaf’, the guestbook or just a board member and every board that comes to congratulate you will tell a story and give you a present. Jeroen will get three random words of us to put in his story.
Jeroen: It works as follows, you are being announced by means of the ‘pedelstaf’. Then you indeed have your little story and you give a present to the new board. Usually, we give Pisang with beer, such that your beer will have the color of VESTING. Once we gave as a present a broken dishwasher and therefore received a bed in return.
After this lovely interview it was time for Anouk and me to travel back south. However, we made sure to make a nice day of it and decided to lunch at the center of Groningen. I would like to thank Lidewey, Jorrit, Pim and Jeroen for their time. I look forward to seeing them on the Board Integration Day and wish them a great year.
Text by: Roxanne Beerkens