“We want to be the caring digital campus”

As she has heard, the listening line for the TU/e community is much needed, says Lara Hofstra, initiator of hearme.tue.nl. The platform has now been running for three weeks; there have been about fifty chats with TU/e people who are in need of contact during the corona crisis. “With Hear Me, we want to be the caring digital campus, now the 'normal' campus can’t fulfill that need,” Hofstra says.

image Camiel Lintsen / KADE 05

In the three weeks that hearme.tue.nl has been up and running, there have been about fifty chats with students and employees. Usually via the chat function on the site, occasionally by telephone. You can reach Hear Me via the website every day from 4 PM to 10 PM.

With its sixty volunteers, the Hear Me team is complete, Hofstra says. “It is a mix of people from Eindhoven, and that is our strength. They have an affinity with the university, the city, students and internationals.”

Nice chat

Hofstra emphasizes that Hear Me is open to everyone. “You don't have to be depressed; a nice chat in which you share suggestions for Netflix or recipes is also fine. We also hear plenty of nice, pleasant stories.”

The exact content of the chats is, of course, private (and anonymous), but Hofstra says the general tendency of the conversations is that students from outside the EU are concerned about tuition fees and getting a study delay. Students also find it difficult to find a good daily rhythm.

Share, share, share

The first week was busy with chats, but now it seems a bit quieter. While Hofstra still gets signals from students who have not left their rooms in weeks and who live in complete isolation. She therefore calls on everyone to point out Hear Me and share it with others.

“What we mainly need now is that the platform is shared as much as possible. So people know we are there for them. And that you can always call, even if it is three times a day. It is super accessible and available to everyone, so feel free to contact us! We want to be the caring digital campus, now the 'normal' campus can’t fulfill that need.”

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