The University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences announced at a press conference on Monday that they would revoke the accreditation for student association Vindicat atque Polit.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Noord reports that the two academic institutions have decided to formally cut ties with the association following a series of violent and sexist incidents in recent years. The student association will no longer be welcome at official ceremonies hosted by the two academic institutions.
The fraternity had already had their funding suspended temporarily, but the Groningen schools have decided to formally cut ties with the association following a report by an accreditation committee. The committee was founded in the autumn of 2016 and was led by Martin Sitalsing, the leader of regional mental healthcare provider Lentis.
The committee concluded that the student association had not provided adequate proof that their internal culture had fundamentally changed, which was a condition the oldest student association in the city had to meet in order to regain their funding and keep their accreditation.
UPDATE: Monday, 12:15 p.m., 1 October
In a statement, the Groninger Internet Courant reports that members of the board of Vindicat stated that they were “deeply disappointed” by the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Science’s decision to revoke their accreditation for this academic year. The statement insists that the student association fundamentally changed course a year and a half ago:
“A cultural shift is truly underway, and we are beginning to see the fruits of that labour. We have had two introduction periods without any incidents, and the advisory committee which oversees this period was pleased to see that. We have also implemented a new code of conduct which is taken seriously within the association.”
The association statement went on to say that Vindicat is still hoping to have their accreditation restored. “We are the only student association which actively participated in the accreditation process, so it is disappointing to feel like we are being unfairly punished for that.”
More time to change the culture
The statement points out that it is difficult to ensure a complete cultural change within such a short period. “It’s a long term process, and we were hoping to be granted more time to achieve that. We absolutely intend to continue pursuing this new course and we believe that we will be able to see it through.”