Groningen student association Vindicat was supposed to be evaluated before the summer break, but the fraternity has been granted an extra month to demonstrate how it has changed its tune.
Translation by Traci White
In order to be eligible for board funding next year, an accreditation committee was set to evaluate the extent to which Vindicat’s institutional culture has changed before 15 August. However, the fraternity has been granted more time due to the “complicated and difficult” nature of the evaluation process.
The Groninger Internet Courant writes that academic institutions suspended funding for the fraternity’s board during the 2017/2018 academic year in response to a series of incidents and scandals. Board members can be paid up to 444 euros a month for each year that they serve, which amounted to 33,000 euros in total.
Code of conduct
In July of 2016, the RUG and the Hanze called for fraternities in the city to agree to a new code of conduct and other safety measures. But Vindicat first temporarily lost its board funding after reports emerged of members causing a scene at a local sushi restaurant, and then lost it for the remainder of the academic year after it came out that two members had gotten into a physical altercation and the fraternity failed to report it to the academic institutions.
University of Groningen spokesperson Jorien Bakker told Trouw that the evaluation was taking longer than expected because it is the first time that such a thing has taken place. “This is new for everyone. The committee is doing this on a voluntary basis, and it has turned out that this process is taking longer than expected. We want to do it right, and we want to make sure that Vindicat’s new board members are also involved.” Bakker says that the procedure should be completed by September. Once Vindicat’s evaluation is done, other fraternities in Groningen will undergo the same procedure.
Although the student association lost its funding in response to recent incidents, the fraternity had a series of major problems in the 2016/2017 academic year as well: a so called “bang list” featuring pictures and contact information for female members of the fraternity describing how sexually appealing they were was circulated among the fraternity, and a male member of the fraternity was hospitalised after an upperclassman stood on his head during a social event.