The initiative is organized by the Student Union, Dimensie, OS, the Buddy Committee, UniTe and ESN. ‘We’ve heard from many people that they are unable to go home this Christmas,’ says UT student Laura Suntrup (Dimensie). ‘We realized that we are in a position to actually organize something fun for them.’
Eventually, The Holiday on UT grounds initiative was born. It includes a buddy program open to all UT students and staff. ‘Anyone can sign up and will be linked with one or two other buddies,’ explains Bregje Walraven (Student Union). ‘This way people can get paired up and spend holidays together in a corona safe way.’ When registering as a buddy, you can express your preferences, for example in terms of what food you’d like to eat or if you’d like to meet with others in person or only online.
To make the holiday planning as smooth as possible, the participants will also receive a list of corona-proof activities they could do together. On top of that, they can join any of the activities organized by UT student associations, which include, for instance, the Apollo Winter Fair or the ESN live music stream. ‘All study associations and UT organisations are really excited to help,’ says Suntrup. ‘We all see the need for this.’
As the initiative’s website was just launched today, it is not yet clear how many people will participate. ‘We don’t know how many people to expect, but we know that even many Dutch students will stay on campus this year,’ says Walraven. ‘I hope we can reach everyone who needs a buddy. We want everyone to have a nice Christmas together.’