Friends in high places, and all that
Vindicat, the student association best known for ‘bang-lists’, Coronavirus super-spreader party buses, and brutal hazing rituals is again welcome at official events of the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The Association had had its accreditation stripped after a litany of unfortunate, abusive, and violent events over the last few years, but has now had that status restored. As reported by the GIC.
Accreditation was re-granted following positive advice from the Accreditation Committee for Student Organizations. Vindicat will again join in with such symbols of the University as the opening of the academic year parade, and other official events. However, the Committe has said that though they do see positive developments, there are still some critical comments to be made.
Vindicat lost its accreditation after a number of incidents related to excessive alcohol consumption, sexual harassment and violence. The association first had to implement a major cultural change, although with the emergence of a new ‘bang list’ last week, whether they have is still open to questioning.
The advice from the Committee says that Vindicat has taken a number of positive steps. The Committee has decided to give the richest student association the benefit of the doubt for some few initiatives that did not get off the ground or did not fully get off the ground due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“There is still room for improvement when it comes to the necessary culture change. Vindicat has taken steps in the right direction in the past six months. Measures have been introduced to combat excessive alcohol consumption, explicit attention has been paid to the hierarchy within the association and the prevention of sexual harassment, and communication has been improved. For example, the board of Vindicat recently acted decisively in the event of an incident and communicated immediately. With the upcoming appointment of a new female rector, old patterns are being broken”, says a joint press release.
Annemarie Hannink, member of the Executive Board of Hanze University of Applied Sciences: “The Coronavirus crisis has been very difficult for everyone, especially for students and student organisations. The board of Vindicat has shown that it has taken a number of positive steps in the desired change within Vindicat, especially in this difficult year. At the same time, the Senate has an important task to continue with this.”
Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga of the University of Groningen: “We think it is very important that Vindicat continues the path of cultural change with ambition and expects to grab this opportunity with both hands to actively contribute to a healthy academic community and lifestyle.”
Image: a huge party at the Vindicat building on the Grote Markt in Groningen, 26 June