TU/e sets up crisis team and emergency fund in response to Ukraine War

The university has put together a crisis team in response to the war in Ukraine. The team brings together representatives of various parts of TU/e and is charged with supporting the university community and ensuring its safety. An emergency fund has also been set up, for students and employees who find themselves in financial difficulty.

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Students and employees who are worried about family and friends in the war zones, payments that cease, resident permits that expire and business relations with the countries involved: these are all examples of how the war in Ukraine is indirectly affecting the TU/e community. To address issues like these a crisis team has been appointed, comprising representatives of HR, Safety and Security, ESA, CEC and the Executive Board.

The principle of a crisis team is a legacy of the corona crisis, tells Ilse Heemskerk, acting TU/e spokesperson, in a written response. “It gives us a rapid response option useful in diverse emergency situations, from storms to war.” It facilitates quick interaction between departments when a major event is happening. Last Thursday - on the first day of the war - this team met at the request of Vice President Nicole Ummelen to discuss possible consequences of the university community.

Huge consequences

The team has contacted all thirty Ukrainians and the one hundred Russians here on campus, and is keen to stay in touch with these students and employees so that it can provide help, as and when needed. “There are huge consequences when, for example, international payments no longer go through. People might end up being unable to access their money,” explains Heemskerk. For these students and employees an emergency fund is now being set up. The university will help out if they are no longer financially self-sufficient. Money will be given as a gift, not a loan. “We are also looking into the consequences for resident permits due to expire soon and the impact on the well-being of students and employees involved directly or indirectly in the conflict.”

In addition, the university has business connections that must be examined. Specifically which ties are involved is not yet known. “We don't yet have the full picture. Contacts may range from those within individual research groups or institutes right up to those occurring within collaborative working arrangements at departmental and university level.” This is one of the tasks the team is currently undertaking.

Those directly involved have been personally approached about the emergency fund. Anyone else who needs to talk about the situation or who needs help can send a mail to info@tue.nl or use WhatsApp to send a message to +31 6 416 83 406. The central point of contact is open every day of the week from 8:00 to 19:00 hrs.

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