21 February 2019 • Gideon Wille
Not a party animal and yet a volunteer for Connected
Connected is not any old school party, for one night the entire University of Applied Sciences is the backdrop of a party with a festival allure. The success of the party is partly made possible by the students who lend a helping hand. Two volunteers tell us why they took part.
“I am not such a party animal myself, but I enjoy it when others are having a good time”, says Steven Dias Pires, who is busy graduating as an Entrepreneurship and Retail Management student. For his graduation thesis he is researching the possibility of starting an events agency for children. The experiences he gains through organising Connected are an added benefit.
Steven is volunteering for the third time. “I started at AKCU as an intern and never left. I was a troubleshooter in the first year and I was at the door last year. This year, I will be taking care of coordination at the door again, where I will be managing ten volunteers. You have to deal with drunk people or people who don’t have a ticket but who still want to go in. Then you have to stand your ground and it can be difficult.”
Steven’s volunteer work doesn’t take up too much of his time, although he did start earlier than other volunteers – in December – because he arranges social media. “You work towards the festival, then you see things happening and you think: I’m looking forward to this. This year we have laser gaming in the restaurant, I think that will be great fun. It’s nice volunteering here. You have plenty to cope with but you also learn a lot.”
Full Moon Party
The INTAC, HSV and Pelargos student associations have a room where they arrange part of Connected. “This year we took inspiration from the Full Moon Parties from Thailand”, explains Thomas de Bruin, chair of INTAC and third-year International Public Management student. “There is blacklight and neon face paint. Everyone can have their face painted for free.”
All associations supply volunteers. They hand out flyers and talk to students. Thomas: “We focus in particular on first-year students who have no idea what Connected is. It isn’t some dull school party, more like a professional festival, with good artists and a great light show. Besides which, we decorate the hall and our students serve the drinks at the tap.”
Lending a hand
At the party organiser ACKU, Thomas was mainly sat at the meeting table. “Thinking about what we wanted to organise and how we can reach the largest possible number of people through social media. But I also help with setting up the hall. Not because it’s my responsibility per se but because I enjoy it. So that in the course of the evening, I think: I put that there, I lent a helping hand to provide people with a party.
Steven Dias Pires: “I am not such a party animal myself, but I enjoy it when others are having a good time.”