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Sign up to be a ‘faddervakt’ at semester start

Starting university is the most beautiful adventure for students in late summer. Some adventurers, however, need support and guidance around town on late nights in August. The fadder patrol does a great job. Now you too have the chance to join.

The fadder patrol stand in Grimstad square in 2017. (Archive photo)

The fadder patrol stand in Grimstad square in 2017. (Archive photo)

“We are proud of the fadder patrol, and perhaps they are especially important this year when ‘the Corona Generation’ enters our towns. Last year we didn’t have fadder patrols due to the coronavirus outbreak, but this year we hope it will be more like previous semester starts, although we have to follow infection prevention rules”, says project coordinator for the semester start, Gro Hodne Gundersen at the University of Agder.

Gro Hodne Gundersen, prosjektleder for studiestart.

Gro Hodne Gundersen, project coordinator for semester start.

Students, staff and other volunteers participate in the fadder patrol. Interested parties can sign up on the Faddervakt website  .

UiA, the Welfare Council,  the Student Organisation of Agder (STA) and the Student Welfare Organisation in Agde (SiA) organise a buddy scheme in both Grimstad and Kristiansand. Local people and organisations in the university towns are also involved, with the mayors at the helm. Fadder patrol volunteers are active during the first days after semester start, Monday 16 August.

“But this is really a scheme by students for students”, says the project coordinator, and adds that all the colleges in Kristiansand and Grimstad participate as members of STA and SiA: NLA University College Gimlekollen, Ansgar Høyskole, Fagskolen i Agder and Noroff Kristiansand.  

Water and sanitisers

“The fadder patrol can in many ways be compared to the Natteravn initiative. They help ensure a safe environment and a good atmosphere in town during semester start, and both faddervakter and students see this as a valuable and good experience”, says Gundersen.

Daværende Grimstad-ordfører Kjetil Glimsdal hadde det moro sammen studentene under pub til pub-racet i Grimstad i 2017. (Arkivfoto)

The then mayor of Grimstad Kjetil Glimsdal had fun with students during the pub crawl in Grimstad in 2017. (Archive photo)

Not only UiA employees act as faddervakter. Former mayor Kjetil Glimsdal in Grimstad has for many years been in Juskestredet and around the town centre distributing water to students during semester start.

“It is really nice to stand there, many students express that they feel safe when we are around, and I can hardly remember any negative comments”, Glimsdal often pointed out in his welcome speech at Campus Grimstad during official openings of the academic year.

In Kristiansand, the mayor and other politicians have also participated as faddervakter - in addition to ordinary residents and members of associations and teams.

Lots of fun in a safe environment

In addition to wandering around the town and talking to and guiding fresh, and slightly less fresh, students, the fadder patrol has regular stands where they serve water, some fruit and buns or some other snacks - if the coronavirus situation allows.

(Photo) Volunteer employees and students hand out free water and snacks to students in Markens.

Many students visited the faddervakt stand in Markens in Kristiansand during semester start week in 2019. Students and volunteers handed out water and some food to students. (Archive image)

The task of the fadder patrol is first and foremost to ensure a safe environment in the town just by being present in a yellow vest with ‘Faddervakt’ printed on it, both around the streets and possibly on stands in the town centres.

This year, faddervakter will also be present where many students gather outside the town centre - such as at Groos in Grimstad, at Bystranda and on Odderøya in Kristiansand, to name a few examples.

“The fadder patrol help to make all students feel included and taken care of. Everyone can stop by the stands or have a chat with the faddervakt volunteers around town. We also want to help alleviate the pressure to drink by distributing water and food”, says project coordinator Gundersen.

Sign up as a faddervakt by 9 August  - and read more about the scheme on the website.

Fornøyde fadder-vakter i Kristiansand i 2019. I fjor var alt korona-stengt, i år er det korona-generasjonen av ferske studenter som inntar universitetsbyene. (Arkivbilde)

Satisfied fadder patrol volunteers in Kristiansand in 2019. Last year everything was cancelled due to lockdown, this year the Corona Generation of new students are entering the university towns. (Archive image)