It became clear last week why Rotterdam has recently become such a coronavirus hotbed. This is partly because students were having a lot of contact with each other and not adhering to the rules. That’s why Mayor Aboutaleb invited the student associations for a meeting. He also sent an e-mail to all EUR students last Saturday, asking them to adhere to the coronavirus rules.

The Mayor proposed another plan during the meeting with the student associations: a campaign for and by students to curb the rising coronavirus infections among students. The associations were keen to do this.

Test capacity

Rotterdamse Kamer van Verenigingen (RKvV) is coordinating the campaign. The objective of the campaign, called ‘Students against corona’, is twofold, explained Merel van Lunen from RKvV. “On the one hand, we see that the preparedness to take a test is very low among students, because they think that there isn’t enough testing capacity. We want to debunk this idea. The campaign also acts as a reminder for the ‘please stick to the rules’ message.”

The campaign includes online videos, in which students who are in the ‘in the midst of their student lives’ appeal to others and talk about their coronavirus experiences. The second part of the campaign involves a team visiting the areas frequented by many students to hand out face masks, leaflets and arm bands with the text ‘I love one and a half metres’.

Why are the students organising this campaign themselves? “Peers have the most influence on each other”, stated Van Lunen. Moreover, it’s in the students’ own interests to reduce the number of infections. “A lot depends on this. For instance, what form and even if Eurekaweek can go ahead at all, and what the coming academic year will be like. I really believe that we can make the difference now.”

Central Station

The campaign will start in a ‘playful way’ at 12.00 noon tomorrow at Rotterdam Central Station. “The idea is that the campaign spreads like wildfire across the city and reaches more and more students.” Adhering to the coronavirus rules needs to become the norm again among students.


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