When speaking of the greatest student association of Dronten and also the largest agricultural student association from the Netherlands, we’re speaking about Unio Studiosorum Reformatorum Agriculturae (USRA). USRA is an association by and for students at Vilentum CAH Dronten. There once was a tale, that Dronten was boring and had nothing to do… but when the USRA came to Dronten, this tale changed completely!
USRA was founded in Ede on June 27, 1958, whereas the CAH Vilentum was located. Ten years later USRA moved along with CAH Vilentum to Dronten, with the reason that the school could start up and develop a school farm. However the possibilities, there was actually very little to do in Dronten. Especially with the system of short and long weekends, where students went home only one time every two weeks, there was a greater need for relaxation outside school. USRA was able to provide the students with this!
USRA grew in a short time; they developed a weekend spending committee, a rowing commission, a dance and a dart committee, sports committee, the Blue Orange (now known as the Tractor Pulling Committee) and so on. Symbol for the USRA was the mascot, a donkey named Domino.
Traditions arose, that we still have fun with. For example: ‘’Floepen’’, where graduates take a dip in the port of Dronten. Also the USRA-workweek emerged from the past. To organize the activities, the USRA needed money. The solution was that students would work one time a year, for a week, to collect money for the association. Nowadays, the new members do this work in the summer holiday before school, to collect money and more important, meet up and bond with other students.
The USRA now has grown to an association with over 1300 members and donators (ex-members that support the USRA with a small fee)This makes the USRA the biggest agricultural student association of the Netherlands. Besides the executive committee, the USRA has 13 commissions, 6 sub- commissions and 5 core’s. The USRA also has a few temporarily commissions and one independent commission.
Together we organize many activities and party’s; ‘’bloesemfeest’’, USRA-week, kings day and so on!
Many of these parties are held in the Students Club ‘’Ad Libitum’’. A lot of these parties are organized by one of the 12 disputes the USRA has.
Besides all the fun and joy we get from the activities and parties, there is also an educational and social purpose; members learn to work together, organize, lead and much more. Within the USRA, there is room for development. This is why members can get compensation points for school grades, by helping in committees.
But the most important thing of all; We have fun TOGETHER, and not one day is the same!
Unio Studiosorum associoation of christian,
sorum agricultural students
Si vis Parcem Para Bellum If you want peace, be prepared for war
Cognito Ergo Ergo Sum I can think so i exist
Nota Bene, Cum Laude be careful, with glory
Peccavi ad Libitum I have sinned freely
Ex-students are encouraged to become ‘’donator’’ for the USRA, after they graduate. The USRA can always use the help of ex-students in many ways. Their knowledge and involvement can be very useful. Also the small financial support is of importance, for development. The Donators ‘’donate’’ $25 a year.
The donators also get something back for their support. They receive the USRA magazine 5 times a year (like all the other members), with this they stay informed. They also get free entrance to the bloesemfeest, and have the right to be with all the activities the USRA organizes. They are also welcome at the public meetings.
From the founding on, USRA has always had a mascot. The mascot Commission takes care of the mascot. The mascot of the USRA has not always been the same. For a very long time the mascot was a plow. The plow received a new spot in Ad Libitum, after being stored due to space shortage.
After a little research in the history books, we found out that the mascot was a little Deere once. This mascot was named Danisha, but only lasted for one year. Why and where she went after one year, no one knows.
Due to some competition between Dutch agricultural student associations, the plow was stolen several times. Because of this the USRA decided to get a second mascot. This was a donkey. It was named domino. She even became mother of a fold, but after a short time the fold was sold. When domino reached a certain age, we decided it was time for her to retire, and moved her somewhere else. Instead of the donkey, the USRA got an lama named ‘Dacha’. This lama was the mascot till 1985. After Dacha came another donkey named Donkey-toy. She moved around few times but ended up in a nice field next to the STOAS school.
In 2006 USRA decided that Donkey-toy, by that time 21, could have a friend. At first the donkey was in a field with a few goats, but having a congener seemed a better idea. The friend became Quinz, a donkey gelding. They seemed to enjoy their time together. Because the plow was a little lonely as well, a companion was also bought for it, a harrow.
In 2007 Donkey toy got very ill, and passed away. The vet advised to get a new companion for Quinz, or she would also die from stress. A female donkey named Anne was bought.
With Donkey-toy dead, USRA needed a new mascot. Quinz was by that time old and wise enough to take this job. Because tradition said that the mascot needs a name with the first letter D, Quinz got a new name: Dicil. Dicil means: I have spoken.
Dicil and Anne are having a good time together. Since 2013 they live in the pasture next to the school. All visitors of the CAH can see them. The donkey leave their pasture only a few times a year to visit the USRA week or public meetings.