Partygoers at Kalas enjoyed warm evening
Balmy autumn weather, perfect for relaxing by the outdoor stage, and big crowds at the fairs. Kalasmottagningen – LiU’s massive welcome day for new students – drew huge numbers of party-hungry students.
“It’s great to be able to present all of Linköping University’s student life in one place - the corporate fair inside the arena is totally unique,” says 2014 head organiser Jonathan Allvin as he surveys the meandering queue of students an hour after the 2 pm opening of the event.
He’s happy with how things are going. The 170-odd volunteers have done a good job. Apart from some parking-related chaos, everything has gone as planned. No easy feat when you’ve got 8,000 guests coming.
“Everything is ready to go. Now I’m looking forward to the stage show.”
But unlike the nine previous Kalases, number ten took an unexpected turn. Tonight’s MC, Christer Lundberg from Swedish radio, slowly strokes his long beard and looks out over the audience:
“Whoa, 134 people! But we know what students are like. They’re hanging around outside, drinking beer and talking.”
And that’s exactly what happened. The party stayed outside in the warm summer night, and even Movits!, this year’s main attraction, had trouble convincing the crowds to move into the darkness of Saab Arena. With larger outdoor spaces, more food options and live music on an outdoor stage, the students stayed outside with their friends. The whole area buzzed with talk, laughter and good spirits.
Still, it was a bit of a shame that most of the students missed a first-class mini-concert by the Linköping Symphony Orchestra, great performances by LiTHe Blås and student choir Skön, and a welcome speech by Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun.
The selection at the afternoon fair usually overwhelms new students, but this year even the “old-timers” were impressed.
“I had no idea that this even existed,” says Rebecka Andersson, third-year medical student. She and some classmates had stopped to check out the bells and whistles at Admittansen, an electronics society.
“If I hadn’t started medicine, this would have been awesome”, says Astrid Ekman after Nils Hallqvist, vice president of Admittansen, demonstrates a robot that navigates around a pre-defined track. Next he turns his attention to a group of students who want to see the 3D printer that is jammed in between other gadgets on the table.
The student fair at LiU is a real mixed bag - containing lots of sweets and the occasional apple.
In one corner is information on study assistance, the library and equal opportunity. In the middle of the crowd is Tarzan, LiU’s best known security guard. From a green bucket he hands out bits of paper with questions on security, and is soon surrounded by a group of first-year psychology students discussing everything from the consequences of sausages that are forgotten on the stove to the location of the defibrillators.
In another corner we hear song from the female students’ choir Linnea and the Linköping University Male Voice Choir, accompanied by folk music from Strängar & Rör.
“The Kalas is a perfect opportunity for us to make ourselves known”, says violinist Annika Maathz. She started her medicine studies last year, was immediately recruited to the students’ folk music band, and started her student life last year with a concert at the Kalas.
Next to Annika, Carl-Gunnar Hörberg has just put down his clarinet: “We’ve got the Student Players World Championships just around the corner. We won in 2004 I think it was. This year I’m not sure, but we’re going to do our best.” Perhaps winning isn’t everything.
For the Red Army’s Boy’s Choir, the beetroot soup is just as important. This year Daniel Häggmyr has cooked the soup that Anders Rydell is serving up to Olle Skogmyr, who is taking a year of Japanese studies.
“I’m a bass singer. Can I join?” Olle Skogmyr gets a cup of soup as well the choir’s binder of music and information that there is choir practice on Sunday.
“I made up my mind fast. I actually saw signs about the choir on the first days I was here. It sounded fun. I’ve sung in choirs before,” says Olle Skogmyr who came to Linköping University from Nynäshamn together with his high school friend, Alexander Kristiansen. Both will do a year of Japanese studies before hopefully continuing in Industrial Engineering and Management.
They both decided a long time ago to study at Linköping University. And they had the foresight to register in the apartment queue in ninth grade.
“Three of us stayed in my student room for the first week. But now it has worked out.”
Another successful Kalas has come to an end. It is Sweden’s largest welcome event for new students - and next year it will probably be even bigger, with even more exciting content. Every year it gets bigger and better.
Wondering what was in the Kalas bag this year? All sorts of things that a student might need: earplugs, notepad, wipes that keep sweat odour away for a week, a few condoms, a butter knife with the phone number to health care advice - and loads of offers for fitness clubs.
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Last updated: 2017-02-13