My Unite! Experience: Joining the Unite! socialising clubs
Two members oft he Unite! Community, namely Benedetta Gennaro et Jessica Retzlaff, have joined Unite! Socialising clubs. Benedetta is a member of the cooking club, and Jessica of the Hiking & Walking club. They share with us their first experience within this framework, in Wroclaw.

Benedetta Gennaro, from TU Darmstadt who is involved in the Unite! expert community focused on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing (Cm. 3) joined the Unite! Cooking Club. Let's hear about her experience: 

Did you make pierogis before? Any Favourites? 

I never did. I was very happy to learn how to make them today. I loved the mushroom ones and the pickled onions on top were just divine. I also really enjoyed the ones with plums. I usually do not have a sweet tooth but I really liked them. They reminded me of Christmas. Might be the cinnamon. I am definitely gonna make them again. 

Would you like to have a recipe?

Yes, I would really like to have it on Metacampus or shared somewhere.  

Is there any recipe that you would like to cook/ learn to cook with the Unite! community? 

I would love to learn how to make Paella. Apple strudel. Finnish/Swedish herring salad with red beets, smoked fish, sour cream... 

What did you enjoy most about cooking together with the Unite! community?

I believe cooking brings people together. You use your hands. You share things. You chit-chat while you’re doing it. It’s also an easy way to share cultural traditions. I really think it is lovely. It is also something to bring home with you with a recipe and you can say – hey, I learnt that in Wroclaw. Why don’t we make it together again. 
Do you believe the Cooking Club will help people to feel a sense of belonging? 

Yes, I think so. I think it’s great for Uniters who are already part of Unite! but also for those who are not yet actively involved. It would be great to have cooking events at our universities outside of the Dialogues. Maybe as marketing events to market Unite!. This could also be an interesting avenue. I think it’s also very nice for students. It can also be a very social event. – Yes, we are already done with preparing the food and we are still sitting together, talking to each other.  

Jessica Retzlaff, from TU Darmstadt who is involved in the Unite! expert community focused on reinforcing academia-business cooperation (WP 4), joined the Unite! Hiking & Walking Club. Let's hear about her experience: 

Why did you join the hiking club?  

I joined the Hiking club because I enjoy being in nature and I think it’s a good opportunity to unite with other Unitees who like to spend some time outside/enjoy nature, talk to each other 

Why do you like hiking?   

I like hiking because it helps your mind to relax, feel the connection to Earth.  

Yesterday you were on the trip to park? How did you feel about it and what was your experience?  

I liked it a lot. we had a nice guide. I liked the park a lot because it reminded me a lot of the park where my husband and I took our wedding pictures. It was interesting to hear the stories about the Japanese garden. We learnt lots of interesting things. 

Do you think we can achieve the goal of collectively hiking/walking 609 kilometers until the next Dialogue at TU Graz? 

Yes, I am sure that we will. Everyone is pumped. I will join the challenge too! 

Do you think that reaching this goal can help us bring the Unite! community closer and boost the sense of belonging?  

I think for sure. I believe when this is your hobby and that you can share with others and that when we come together again in Graz, we can talk about it and how we collected the kilometres. I think it’s a good idea for Unite! 

Do you think it’s a good way to socialise?   

Yes, I think so. I think it would also be a nice possibility to organise a short hike/walk at every dialogue where people from beginners to pros can join and do an activity together. 

The Unite! Socialising Clubs were launched during the 8th Unite! Dialogue at Wroclaw Tech. For now, you can join the two pilots, namely Unite! Hiking & Walking Club and the Unite! Cooking Club through Metacampus. Join your preferred group(s) and take advantage of community resources, take part in challenges and start the conversation with your peers.

Do you have any suggestions on how to enhance socialising among Unite! staff? Are you interested in starting a club or hosting an activity yourself? For example, yoga, meditation, dancing, singing, a topical workshop, or something else?

Please reach out to expert team 6.4 through this form on Unite! Agora:

We look forward to hearing from you!