TUMsocial at the “Junge Akademie”:
An internet platform for social commitment
"Many of our students would like to volunteer, but are unsure how to go about it. This is why we started to develop TUMsocial. The Internet platform is supposed to connect students and social institutions," says Martin Kaumanns, who is involved in the project.
The student of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology suggests that his fellow students feel a certain inhibition, which he and his project group are trying to tackle: TUMsocial is supposed to facilitate making contacts, to enable communication between the partners and to simplify searching for and managing the entries.
More than a virtual bulletin-board
24-year-old Shiyu Qin had once already organized a running event to help disabled children. Now she wants to convince her fellow students to take part in other social projects. "TUMsocial is a good thing – in every respect. The project is also interesting because I can get to know fellow students from other faculties or scientific disciplines and work with them," says the student of Business Information Technology.
The 11 members of the project group got to know each other at the Junge Akademie. The idea is based on the assumption that many people have no idea how to get involved or that they need more information about possible activities. Often, they simply don’t know who to contact. TUMsocial will provide a remedy here, being more than just a virtual bulletin board.
The Internet portal will provide standardized job descriptions and functions to search and filter data. Short-term projects will be listed too – ideal for students who, alongside their studies, would like to step in at short notice when social organizations need help.
Planned kick-off: summer semester 2014
The students invest an average of about three hours a week for the realization of TUMsocial. The individual tasks are not predefined, so the members play it by ear and take care of whatever needs to be done. Thomas Burger, a student of Chemical Engineering, has taken over responsibility for the legal issues, which is particularly important. There is still a lot of work to be done before the official launch which is scheduled for summer semester of 2014, such as programming the website or customizing the handling, the design, layout and usability.
The project means a lot of fun, without question – but those who are involved are also trying to prove that students do not only sit in front of their computers, but are also willing to establish social projects. Social commitment is an important aspect of motivation for the group. Konstantin Riedl, project manager and student of Automotive Engineering, summarizes: "Society offers us a lot of possibilities, and we are able to study here. So I think it's time to give something back".
by Dr. Evdoxia Tsakiridou