Meet our Campus Relations Team, Michael and Kirsten
The GO Green Office team consists of 12 people, but who are the faces and stories behind this and why did they choose to be part of the team? In this series we want you to get to know us a little better by sharing our personal stories on why we try to make our campus the most sustainable in the Netherlands. This week we highlight Michael and Kirsten, our Campus Relations team. In their function, they need to know everything that is happening on and around our campus. Michaal and Kirsten, the floor is all yours!
In our role as Campus Relations Managers, we are responsible for keeping in touch with all the different associations on campus, and collaborating with them to make a sustainable impact at the TU/e. Besides that, we keep in touch with the Facility Management Center (FMC) to update each other on what is happening in terms of sustainability in waste management, catering, furniture, cleaning, and mobility. Our biggest project is the Sustainability Managers Project (or SUMAP for short). 30 sports, culture, student, and study associations each appointed a Sustainability Manager (SUMA) within their board. A few times per year, we get all SUMAs together to discuss sustainability and to support them in making their associations more sustainable. Associations can have a big impact: DEMOS is investigating how to make their building free from gas, Japie organized their own Green Week, Intermate changed to a more sustainable bank, COSMOS served more plant-based food, and many associations set up sustainability committees. Seeing these changes, whether big or small, is what motivates us to keep going.
“It motivates me to have conversations about sustainability with board members but also with friends, family, and colleagues.”
As of this academic year, I have taken up the role of Campus Relations Manager, but I joined the GO Green Office in 2021 as Community Manager. I’m a Data Science student and have always had an interest in sustainability. Since becoming a part of the GO Green Office, I’ve become much more aware of my own impact on this planet, and I’ve been making some changes in my food, travel, and shopping choices. What always inspires and motivates me are the conversations I have about sustainability with board members but also with friends, family, and colleagues. Not only about people’s individual impact but especially those of big companies and governments. It’s great to open the discussion, to have a lot of people on board and directly or indirectly get a bigger positive influence. This is also exactly what I really enjoy about my current function, having a positive impact by simply talking to people!
“I believe that if we can make the TU/e a forerunner in sustainability, students will take the principles that they are used to from the university along in their future careers.”
I joined the GO Green Office in May of 2022, immediately starting as Campus Relations Manager. I am studying Innovation Sciences and while I love reading and writing about sustainability in an academic context, I also wanted to gain some experience applying these principles in practice. I love talking to different parties about their vision of sustainability and what they value. TU/e is like a mini-society, and for us students the place where our careers start. I believe that if we can make the TU/e a forerunner in sustainability, students will take the principles that they are used to from the university along in their future careers. That way, the impact spreads. The campus should inspire students to become more sustainable within their future careers as well as their personal life. Moreover, everybody should get a voice in these sustainability transitions. That is what I love about SUMAP, it is a way for all types of different associations to participate in creating a sustainable impact at the TU/e campus.