Student wellbeing campaign: QR codes on toilets and info via social media

Student wellbeing campaign: QR codes on toilets and info via social media

“We want to show students that the university is there for them”

10-11-2022 · News

MAASTRICHT. They will be stuck on almost all toilet doors in UM buildings this week and next week: stickers with a QR code that refers to an overview of help services that the university offers. ‘Are you okay?’, it says in large letters above it. The action is part of a new campaign concerning student wellbeing, co-ordinated by Student Services (SSC).

At the centre of the campaign is an infographic that leads students, after answering a number of questions, to the right place for support. This image will appear on posters in UM buildings and will be shared through social media the next few weeks. Students can use the QR code to download the interactive version, with links that refer to contact details and information about the person concerned or the agency.

“With this campaign, we want to show students: the university is there for you if you need help,” says Paul Pinxten, communication officer at SSC. “The initiative to seek help is still up to the students themselves, but by doing this we are trying to lower the threshold for them to do so.”

It also lists all services. “That is definitely necessary. The UM website is not always clear or user-friendly for students who are looking for help. Moreover, there are over two hundred people working in the field of student wellbeing spread across the university – from student advisor to helpdesk assistant or psychologist. If everyone tries to reach students on their own, the students won’t be able to see the wood for the trees. The infographic is meant to create a single recognisable image.”

The idea to put the QR codes on the inside of the toilets, was taken from an initiative by two student council members of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Helena Sanvicente and Maaike van Uum. Last academic year, they developed the QR code in order to help victims of undesirable behaviour, such as sexual harassment or racism. “The toilet is a place where you can scan the QR code without being seen, so that you don’t have to explain to anyone why you did it, and besides, it is a place where people can go after they have experienced something uncomfortable,” they told Observant last spring.

In the adapted version of the SSC – which is replacing the FASoS project and is being widened to the whole university – the focus will not just be on undesirable behaviour, but “actually everything that has to do with wellbeing,” said Pinxten. The infographic also includes subjects such as mental and physical health, personal and academic development and finances. “We will assess every year whether any information is missing.”

Next week there will be more focus on student wellbeing at UM: the Wellbeing Movement organizes the annual Wellbeing Week from November 14 to 18, including lectures and workshops.

Photo: Joey Roberts

Tags: wellbeing,qr code,help,ssc,wellbeing week,students,instagram

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