There will be no Vindicat bigwigs at any official occasion in this academic year
The University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences have not granted the Vindicat student association an “accreditation” for the current academic year, meaning that the its members won’t be invited to official occasions. The decision comes after the Gemeente Groningen decided against any action following a series of misdeeds by Groningen’s richest Student Association.
The decision was taken because the measures the association had to implement have not yet led to a cultural change, say the educational institutions. In particular, Vindicat has come under fire for its full-throttle drinking rituals, and for breaking various Coronavirus regulations.
“The committee also finds that there is insufficient control from the Senate in preventing incidents during the Coronavirus crisis. The Executive Boards have decided not to invite Vindicat to official occasions until September 15, 2021.”
Vindicat also did not receive accreditation in 2019, due to abuses within the association (including ‘the bang list’, and several hazing-related injuries). The Vindicat board then came up with measures to improve that ongoing streak of abusive behaviour, but not enough has come of that action, yet.
An important point for the accreditation committee to reject the accreditation was that “there seems to be no sense of urgency to tackle excessive alcohol consumption within the association”. Alcohol still plays a major role lubricating members’ social lives, according to internal surveys.
According to the committee, there is also no proactive action being taken. “There is a reactive, retrospective response to incidents, instead of preventing them. Internal surveys show that the members of Vindicat do not experience a cultural change sufficiently.”
The committee also blames Vindicat for failing to inform the Executive Boards of the RUG and Hanze in a recent incident in which about a hundred people were partying in a house. The educational institutions heard of the incident through the media.
There are also positives. For example, the committee says that steps have been taken in reporting incidents and that more attention is being paid to diversity, culture change and the serving of non-alcoholic beer. The committee hopes that Vindicat will continue the cultural change, so that the association can again receive accreditation for the next academic year.
Vindicat says the news has “arrived like a hard blow”. “We were not expecting it. We will do everything we can to ensure that things are in order next year”.