By: Hedvig Wrede Translated by: Carl-William Ersgård
When Lundagård sent out a survey, most novisches answered that they were very pleased with their nollning. However, many hold that the activities were too tailored to extrovert people and focused too much on alcohol. What most people bring up as a problem is that it was difficult to have time for both nollning and studies.
Yet another nollning period is over. When Lundagård sent out a suvery to all novisches at Lund University, asking how they found their nollning, it received 504 answers. A majority of the respondents stated that they were very pleased with their nollning.
“I am very pleased. It felt well organised with committed mentors and a lot of different activities. Without nollning, you would have just gone to your lectures. Now, however, you got to know your fellow students”, says Svante Rosenlind, fresh student of engineering mathematics at LTH.
Alcohol and social demands
The survey also shows that a lot of novisches found that the nollning focused too much on extroverts and alcohol.
“I noticed that some more introvert people were present during the first days of the nollning, but then stopped showing up for the activities. And even if drinking alcohol was voluntary, with sober mentors always present, many of the activities consisted of sittnings and pub rounds. The Facebook events encouraged people to ‘bring your own booze’, which I found unnecessary”, says Kim, who just started studying at the Faculty of Medicine.
Nollning obstructs studies
However, what most people mentioned as problematic was that it was difficult to have time for both nollning and studies. This was something that Kim also recognized.
“Social activities are fun and a great way to get to know your fellow students, but nollning and studies don’t add up. At one time, we had a sleep-over with the nollning group and then an exam the next day. It didn’t feel that well planned.”
Marianne Fuglsang Jordt, who has started her studies in Arabic at the Faculties of Humanities and Theology, also had trouble finding time for her studies.
“I had to try and assess whether I had time for a nollning activity without missing too much of my education. Some activities only had two people showing up since everyone else felt they had to study instead”, she says.
Could be inspired by Denmark
Marianne Fuglsang Jordt does have a suggestion on how to solve the problem.
“I´m from Denmark, where we have our nollning period during summer, before the semester starts. I think that Lund University could serve from being inspired by that system”, she says.
Efforts in study groups
Of the respondents to the survey, most of the novisches who had problems finding time for both nollning and studies were from the LTH.
“We try to have many niche activities to suit everyone. We also have study evenings and groups were experienced students help the new ones to find time for their studies. Rather than removing nollning activities to make room for studies, we add more nollning time tailored for studying”, says Nicolás Salas, General of Nollning at the student union at LTH (TLTH).
“Everything is voluntary”
The Faculty of Medicine is the faculty where most novisches felt too great a focus on alcohol. Chairperson Madeleine Lehander at Medicinska Föreningen (MF), states that they are aware of and try to prevent the problems that may arise.
“Everything is voluntary, both participating in the activities and drinking alcohol. There are always sober mentors on site, and we also have calmer activities such as movie nights which do not involve alcohol”, Madeleine Lehander says.
The key: Organisation and experience
Overall, the survey respondents are pleased with their nollning. LTH has the highest number of very pleased respondents. Nicolás Salas believes that it could be the result of experience and clear organisation.
“I have five years of experience working with nollning and have been working on this year’s edition since November last. Everything has been carefully planned, so that when problems have arisen, we have been able to focus entirely on solving them”, Nicolás Salas says.
Summer nollning a possibility
The suggestion to follow suit with Denmark and hold nollning before the programmes start has not been raised either at MF or TLTH.
“It hasn’t been discussed during my year at Medicinska Föreningen but it could be something to look at”, chairperson Madeleine Lehander says.
“It would take a restructuring of the entire nollning organisation. There are a lot of longstanding traditions at the faculty. That being said, it is not impossible”, Nicolás Salas says.