Let’s face it, social distancing sucks – and one of the biggest reasons it does is that we can’t see our friends. So, that’s why virtual communities are the newest and best way to meet new friends and keep in contact with old ones. In this article, Impact interviews Charlie O’Neill, a second year Geography student who set up Communi-Tea.
For those that don’t know, what is Communi-Tea?
“Communi-Tea is an online group for student of the University of Nottingham to make new friends without having to join a formal sport or society. Initially being based on the premise of having a ‘cuppa tea’ round someone’s house, Communi-Tea has grown substantially and we hope to offer board game nights and movie nights at Lenton houses as well as Spoons nights and cocktail nights in the next academic year. For now, we’re utilising our social media platforms to help chase those isolation blues away!”
“So, whilst you may not be a fresher, Communit-Tea is definitely a way to re-FRESH your circle of friends!”
Why is it called ‘Communi-Tea’?
“Combines ‘community’ and a classic English beverage. UNI-ty was also debated.”
Was Communi-Tea a group project or was it your own idea?
“My own idea initially but definitely a team effort now!”
What made you create the page?
“Lenton is meant to be a hub of student socialising, but the amount of Nottsfessions from students feeling cut off from housemates, or isolated in their interests and hobbies, or feeling as though they’ve passed the deadline to make new friends (ie. not a fresher anymore), seemed to suggest otherwise. It seemed pointless there was so many people feeling the same way and could only express themselves through an anonymous platform with no progressive outcome. So, whilst you may not be a fresher, Communi-Tea is definitely a way to re-FRESH your circle of friends!”
“Whenever someone new is added there’s always a flutter of existing members greeting them, which is one of the reasons Communi-Tea is a welcoming and safe space..”
What has the reception been like? How many members have you got?
“My Nottsfessional post was Saturday 7th March, and got a large response. I added interested people into a messenger chat and 36 filled out a Survey Monkey on what they wanted Communi-Tea to offer. Our Communi-tea launch was on Tuesday 10th March. It was Monday 23rd I put an advertisement up on Buy/Sell, and our numbers on the messenger chat to over 100. A group page was also created with posts such as ‘meet people in your county’ ‘meet people on your course’ ‘meet neighbours on your road’ where members can comment below and link up to one another. Members are affectionately called the teabaggers.”
You have a group chat? What’s been going down on there?
“Just normal conversations really! Yesterday there were a few rounds of two truths and a lie and in the past we’ve had a cutest pet contest. At the moment, there’s a lot of isolation memes being sent in to keep everyone entertained now that there’s so little to do. Whenever someone new is added there’s always a flutter of existing members greeting them, which is one of the reasons Communi-Tea is a welcoming safe space and members feel comfortable to chat.”
How can people get more involved?
“To be added to the messenger chat just direct message me – my name is Charlie O’Neill on facebook and I’m wearing yellow in my profile photo! For the group page just search ‘Communi-Tea’ or click here. You can also easily get added to the messenger chat from the group page.”
If you want even more fun online with your fellow students, head over to UoN Neighbours. This is a Facebook page set up by UoN’s SU officers to help blow away those isolation blues.
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