What is happening behind the scenes of the OWee?

What’s been happening behind the scenes of the digital OWee platform? Delta spent half an hour watching what was happening in the headquarters of the OWee Board.

Volunteers at the OWee office take care of questions that come in via mail, app and telephone (Photo: Delta)

“Don’t mind the chaos,” says Vice Chair and Head of Communications Mennolt when he crosses the threshold into the OWee office. A few seconds later his phone rings. He listens briefly, frowns and then speaks. “The weather apps in the Netherlands change every minute. I would wait a bit.”

Mennolt is pumped up with adrenaline. Over the next few days, he will manage a team of volunteer communications managers that will be involved in everything connected to the online platform and the physical OWee events. This is a big job because while the front end of the platform seems so calm, the OWee office is a hive of activity.

About 10 volunteers are seated in the middle of the office, one-and-a-half metres from each other. Their gaze is focused on the screen, their hands on the keyboards. Around them is a jungle of boxes, bottles and rucksacks. Almost every minute someone sends an email or asks a question on WhatsApp, or a ring tone pierces the space. Someone phones to say that they had not signed up for the OWee and if they could still do so. “I’m sorry. We closed the registrations on Monday,” answers a volunteer. The person at the other end of the phone hangs up directly.

Oweekantoor4.jpgThe The volunteers also help during the physical part of the OWee and work in shifts (Photo: Delta)

Answers for student associations
It’s not only the first years and OWee attendees who find their way to the team, but study and student associations have last minute questions too. “The associations want to know if they should have a chatbox on their main page,” calls out one of the communications managers. Board member Melanie answers. “Tell them it’s up to them.”

During the online OWee, student associations are broadcasting livestreams almost non-stop. Mennolt’s team is working hard on this too. “Come with me,” he says after working through a load of emails. A group of volunteers is keeping an eye on the associations’ livestreams in a control room next to the OWee office. “They are checking that nothing untoward happens and that all the associations stick to the rules,” he explains.

He then looks at his watch and apologises again. “A journalist from the AD newspaper is waiting for me in the Aula. I have to go.”

News editor Annebelle de Bruijn

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.