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Maybe you have already encountered groups of first-year students; being yelled at, chained, in messy clothes, offended, humiliated and degraded? I guess you might not have liked that scene.
Now, rest assured: participants know very well that it’s just part of the game. And the name of the game is being accepted as a member of a student society. For some societies it is even compulsory to participate in these freshman parades if you want to get baptized. Anyhow, participants do know beforehand that it’s an important part of the initiation rite that will eventually lead to a glorious student life.
These practices are often difficult to understand for international students and for sure they are not very attractive either. Moreover, most of them are only organised in Dutch. Nevertheless, not all of them are that cruel. Joining a student society is a great way to make new friends and find your favourite spots in Brussels. Check our webpage to discover the one that suits you!
It is good to know that not all student societies stick to this kind of outdated traditions. SWAMP for instance has reshaped it’s freshman parade completely over the last few years. This Society of Weird And Mad People invites the first-year and other new students to their parade on October 10th, at 7 pm on the esplanade, in front of the restaurant. Swamp’s main activity is gaming, at least once a week. This year’s theme is steampunk and hot-air-balloons, and everything will be explained in English. The newbies will be divided into two groups and escorted into two escape rooms. There they will have to solve some riddles before finding the key to get out.
After the games the parade will loop around the campus until they reach the campfire. Throughout the day they will play some games and learn about the history of SWAMP, learn the Swamp-song and of course the Swamp-shout. At the campfire all participants will receive a goodie bag full of SWAMP related materials. For those willing to participate we have already found the correct lyrics to be sung, a parody on the melody of The Wild Rover song:
I’ve been a mad gamer for many’s a year
I’ve spent all my money on Magic and beer.
My parents deny me, they think I’m obsessed
But I know much better and say “Fuck” to the rest.
And it’s always forever, (sex met die boom)
Forever and more,
Will I be the Mad Gamer,
Forever and more.
Where winners reign mighty, and losers die fast
Where the cardboard is holy, and the rulebooks are vast.
It’s there where my heart is, and I say to the rest:
I don’t care what you think, I like gaming the best.
The SWAMP shout is in Dutch, but very easy to learn, and it goes like this:
Wij zijn SWAMP!
Wij spelen graag!
Maar wie er met ons voeten speelt,
Die krijgt slaag !
(Translated: We are SWAMP! We like to play! But whoever plays with our feet* will be beaten!)
Interested? Go and meet other active members of SWAMP on October 7th, in the G building, room 1G021 at 8 pm. That’s where they gather weekly, and they’ll be glad to explain more. Participation is not compulsory if you want to become a member, but then the baptism is. Regarding the SWAMP initiation trajectory it is good to know that their baptism is clean and there’s no nudity involved. One could see it as a gigantic roleplay or improvisation theatre. Lots of fun guaranteed. It will take place the 31st of October.
* Flemish expression, meaning to be fooled by someone