News - August 8, 2018

YOU on campus: ‘I enjoy helping people’

Liza van Kapel

It is a calm summer on campus. Information desk officer Truus Willemse (62) mans the ‘Fort Forum’. She is looking forward to the crowd brought by the new academic year. ‘The neighbours at the Student Service Centre already have long lines every day. But it’s still quiet at my desk.’

Willemse seems to be relaxed as we hold this interview from behind the desk: ‘I can hardly hear you over the crowd in front of the desk’, she jokes. And indeed, it is not crowded in the least; there is but a single person with a question. This is not always the case: ‘I do get quite a few students who are slightly panicked because they think their registration is not properly fixed. I have to forward them to my neighbours at the Student Service Centre, where there are long lines every day. But it’s quiet on this side, save for the mail messengers and a few students. I can’t say I'm terribly busy.’

But things will stir up again soon, with the resits, the AID and then the start of the academic year. And Willemse is looking forward to that: ‘I like it better when it’s busy.’ She is usually located in Orion: ‘Orion has my preference because of the large rooms and the important events. Those often involve quite some ad hoc arrangements, and I do like a good puzzle. It is stressful sometimes, but it's always fun when it works out and you can help someone.’ Helping people is what Truus enjoys most about her job: ‘People often come to you with a problem: when a room has not been arranged for properly, for example. It is very nice when you can help them on the spot and see them off with a smile. That gives me a lot of satisfaction.’

Once the warm summer months are over, it will also be holiday time for Truus. But she does not have specific plans yet. ‘Many colleagues plan their summer holidays in January, but since I don’t have to stick to school holidays, I never feel the need to plan that far ahead. And I don’t have to be afraid that I will not see the sun without a holiday this year either.’

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