News - March 14, 2013

'It bothers me that there is so much loneliness'

Who? Lennart Verhoeven, staff member of the Student Service Centre
What? Started a Facebook group for students at the Bornsesteeg.
Why? Wants to do something about the loneliness among foreign students

Why have you taken this initiative?
'It isn't my problem actually, but I've always been affected by the stories about loneliness in the student residence. It bothers me that there is so much loneliness, and doing something about it has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I have even applied for a job as caretaker for the Bornsesteeg.'
Why via Facebook?
'It suddenly occurred to me that this would be a good way, and I already have some experience with groups like this. It seemed to me that the easiest way was to set this up myself, and then quickly inform one of the occupants about it. The threshold is low and within 24 hours, we had already reached 10 percent of the occupants.'
Are there results?
'People start to introduce themselves, and their faces become more familiar. They have started to make sports appointments, and occupants are making more use of the communal space downstairs. I also think that the group has lowered the threshold for contacting others. That's why I get all sorts of friend requests from students whom I don't really know, but only through the group. Other than this, I don't want to push too hard, although it would be fantastic if a Bornsesteeg festival came out of it. Such as a party, or a pot-luck dinner on one of the evenings.