Photographer:Fotograaf: archive Observant
MAASTRICHT. The Library of Things has won the Student Idea Competition 2018, the annual contest organised by the Student Project Team. Five teams pitched their ideas to improve student life at Maastricht University in the Student Service Centre (SSC) last Monday. A jury selected three winners. The Library of Things – where people can borrow tools they rarely use, such as a drill, instead of buying them – will use their 400 euros in prize money to expand their collection.
The jury liked the fact that the initiators of the Library of Things, which recently moved into the Werkhuis, a local gathering of craft workshops, are in close contact with both the local community and social initiatives at UM. Pascal Breuls, director of the SSC and chair of the jury, encouraged them to maintain this approach and also to contact the Guesthouse. “I think you can play a huge role for our exchange students. They can borrow your things and you can pick up stuff they leave behind.”
Second prize of 200 euros went to Heart to Heart, an organisation that aims to improve student wellbeing by, among other things, setting up a peer coaching system. Students who need advice or just want to talk to someone can consult student coaches who have been trained by the student psychologist. In the case of severe problems, they can be referred to the student psychologist or the GGZ (Dutch mental healthcare). Heart to Heart will pilot the project at the law faculty, but the jury hopes they will quickly expand to other faculties.
Third prize, worth 100 euros, went to Maastricht Student Radio. This initiative wants to set up a podcast platform for and about the UM community. They will make podcasts themselves, for instance about student research, and help others with the same ambition. Breuls advised them to reconsider their abbreviation – the Maastrichtse Studentenraad (Maastricht Student Council) also uses MSR – and to consider broadening their activities to organising events in collaboration with the international student organisation Kaleido.
The two other ideas involved setting up a UM Chess Club and developing an app called Localist, where people can post local events. According to the makers students currently use Facebook for this purpose, but since Facebook only shows users what they like, people rarely go to events outside their own bubble. Localist would stimulate that, for example by rewarding users who attend events at faculties other than their own.