It was that time of the year again. In September, the new students were welcomed to A.S.V.Gay, the Amsterdam student society for GLBTs! The highlight of our introduction is the “ontrozing” (“pink hazing”), the weekend in which you make at least fifty new friends. But what is this introduction all about?
An introductory weekend in a student society (for gays, among others) probably raises all kinds of questions and images - an emotional therapy weekend about problematic GLBT stories with unlimited tissues, to hazing in American style with half-naked frat boys having to perform various sexual tasks on each other, strictly supervised. I have to reassure, or disappoint, the reader - that is not what the weekend is all about. In a society where everyone can be themselves, it is not fitting to force people to reveal all of their emotions or to humiliate them. But that doesn’t mean nothing ever happens.
The most important aspect of the “ontrozing” is its voluntary nature. New members are not obligated to attend. If it does not fit your schedule or if you do not want to attend, you can change your mind and perhaps attend a later edition. It is, however, strongly recommended, as it is the perfect start of your time at A.S.V.Gay. But if there are things organized on the weekend itself people don’t support, they absolutely do not have to participate. It is mainly about getting to know each other, fun and games, and of course beer (or wine or soda).
The weekends usually take place in the Wild East of the Netherlands, and are organized by enthusiastic committee members. The weekend usually starts with beer relays, in which the people in the team have to put away bananas, rusks, and beer under loud encouragement. The fanatics are victorious, and their glory is grandiose. Complaining in hindsight about how horribly dry your mouth gets of those rusks has a fraternizing quality.
In the evenings there is partying, followed by joining your team in the morning with a terrible hangover to start a series of games. These can range from a game of blindfolded musical chairs with beer crate, to trying to get ping pong balls into a tissue box, and bubble football to an inflatable wipe out. This time around, the end game was a car wash relay race in which participants in white shirts made belly glides on a soap track (with the car metaphorically washed by the participant as a “car wash babe”), and fishing out a coin in a bucket of water (for payment) with your mouth.
In the small hours, there often is a mystery to solve in the theme of the weekend, for instance a murder in a roaring twenties nightclub, and team members roam a dark forest in order to question suspects. This is followed by a colorful evening with performances (everyone can do something if they want), and the theme party. That party is almost always one to remember, but how intense things are greatly depends. In previous editions we had to saw someone from a toilet cubicle, and at breakfast on Sunday morning there were rumors of a forest orgy.
This time, we had a karaoke night in which the most beautiful gay classics were murdered by singing out of tune. That some shirts are taken off on the dance floor seems a constant factor, but we do watch out that people do not go too far under peer pressure. That way, everyone can look back on a good weekend and accept dozens of friendship requests on Facebook.
After my fraternity weekend in 2013, I felt that this weekend was indeed the right opportunity to meet and get to know people beyond the concept of pink, and that each new group is a wonderfully diverse group that will add greatly to our society. As a member of the board now, I still think of the weekend of a fantastic beginning in which people can be made even more enthusiastic about their time at A.S.V.Gay. And that constitutes a wonderful end to my year on the board!
Tom Hendriks was secretary of the A.S.V.Gay.
See www.asvgay.nl for more information