The idea for both the walk and the bench – which will be referred to as the ‘social sofa’ – comes from medical student Matthijs Bosveld. “We want to connect people. Walking is good for your health and for working together. I would also like to set out a walk through the city centre, one that partly overlaps with the one in Randwyck. So, if you have a meeting with a colleague in Randwyck, you could, for example, both walk to a certain point and continue from there together instead of sitting in a room.”
The Executive Board suggested starting off in Randwyck, because the area around the university buildings there are being adapted and renovated anyway. The bench is going to be placed beside the building on Universiteitssingel 40 and forms the starting point of the walk. “We wanted to have something eye-catching for the location. The design of the mosaic was inspired by the Randwyck student organisations. They all have their own colour and the shape of their logos has also been incorporated.”
The bench will be decorated by the students themselves over the next few weeks. “We work on it every day during the faculty introduction. First-year students participate and we also asked citizens from Maastricht to help, starting with those who are involved in Person Behind the Patient, (Mens Achter de Patiënt, an organisation, partly set up by Bosveld, where medical students talk to patients and gain insight into their disease, ed.). Apparently, it will take 150 hours to complete the bench, we hope to be finished by the end of September.”
Then the UM Strolls route can also be launched. People can download it using a QR code on a poster. The route is about 5 kilometres long and takes you past all the buildings on the Health Campus in Randwyck.