Police end occupation of Academy building (UPDATE)

On Tuesday night, the police put an end to the occupation of the Academy building. Dozens of students had been blocking the stairs since noon, protesting the lack of social safety they feel exists at the university.

They also demanded that the UG reinstate social safety expert Susanne Täuber.

Täuber was recently fired by the UG for a ‘long-term damaged working relationship’. The university says Täuber is difficult to work with and violated agreements multiple times. However, she maintains she was blackballed after she’d published an article in the Journal of Management Studies about career opportunities for women at the university.

The UG called the police around 8 p.m. because the protesters ‘refused to heed several requests to leave the university’. Officers then removed the students from the Academy building.


Approximately sixty students, referring to themselves as Occupy RUG, started their protest on Tuesday around noon at the steps in front of the Academy building while their representatives talked to the board of directors. This was part of an agreement the protesters and the board had reached after the previous occupation a month ago.

But when it became clear later in the afternoon that the UG would not meet their demand concerning Täuber, the protesters moved into the central hall. ‘A campaign for social safety is meaningless if they don’t reinstate Susanne’, said one student who wants to remain anonymous. ‘People still don’t feel safe.’

First occupation

The group also occupied the Academy building on March 22, but left after the board promised to listen to them. Afterwards, the UG announced a new social safety campaign, which launched on April 17.  

‘By fighting for Susanne’s job, we’re also fighting to make sure that both students and staff feel safe enough to say something when they’re being harassed’, said another student. ‘We’re fighting to make the university as a whole a safer place.’

Breaking point

The UG says it regrets that ‘we weren’t able to come together to have an open and constructive dialogue about how to improve social safety at the UG’. According to the board of directors, ‘their (Occupy RUG) non-negotiable demand that Susanne Täuber return to the UG’ was the breaking point.

‘Because of privacy laws and the codes of conduct at the university, we can’t and won’t discuss individual cases involving students or staff’, the UG board said in a statement.

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  1. Regardless of whether you believe Occupy RUG’s demands are reasonable or not, the violence of this retaliation by the police is inhumane. These are just students who want a safer environment, peacefully protesting in their own university building and they get beaten and dragged down stairs? Fucked up, ACAB

    • You cannot unlawfully occupy private property and then complain that the police uses (light) force to vacate the premise.

      • As students from the RUG during a normal day of lectures, the Academie building is a perfectly legal place for students to be in. Peaceful protesting withing the walls, even sitting down without causing harm (verbal or physical) should not lead to students being forcefully evicted from their own study buildings.

      • You actually can! It’s a public/state University, AND many classes actually run until past 10pm. Hope this clears up the (many, going by the stuff you comment) gaps in your brain!

        • Actually you can’t! Blocking the stairs and being asked to leave means you have to oblige. Experiencing some mist in your brains?

  2. So it’s either her or you all retaliate? Surely you can come to a compromise and have a new social safety expert. I believe Susan Tauber should take it to court if she was wrongfully terminated. Best of luck to her.

  3. WE owe it to our students to recognize that a university that doesn’t allow critical reflection on wide-ranging and pervasive phenomena such as micro-aggression, exclusion, sexual harassment, intellectual intimidation, bullying, threats, and general favoritism of particular cultures, genders, sexual orientations and races is not a university in which our students should feel included or safe. We commend you students for having the bravery that many of us with full time positions lack in this situation.
    The response of both the university management and the police is unacceptable and should be condemned, and that such police force has not been condemned betrays once again how dangerous it is to critique this institution and its favored exclusionary networks, and its continued inaction against such common threats to productive and safe working, learning and studying environments.

    • Everything is according to the law. But I guess that doesn’t matter to activists like yourself.

  4. This is the Netherlands, The RUG only thinks with its wallet, as long as they can exploit staff and students for money they wont change. Their actions confirm this again and again. They will only listen when the line goes red. sickening behavior from the police.

  5. I’m embarrassed for the university. It’s stuck in its old conservative traditional ways, and it’s at the cost of a feeling of safety within the University.

  6. There is live footage posted by the students on the @occupyrug Instagram account of them being removed from the building by police with batons and dogs. There is no excuse for such actions and such acts of violence are unacceptable!

          • Don’t you have classes to attend? Would be great for the development of your intellect and ability to construct proper, coherent arguments.

    • What a baby, complain about something REAL perhaps? This is such a first world problem that you privilidged kids will never quite fully grasp. There is actual suffering out there. Protest homelessnes? Protest Iran? Protest Sudan? NO yall wanna protest an inexistant issue, like how many indiviudals truly experience “social danger” or whatever the fuck that even means.

      Do you consider a man holding the door for you as “social danger”? I sure as hell know plenty of women do. This is a made up issue that quite frankly crybabies such as yourself make up and seek to receive some victimhood brownie points.

      Get a life, respect people, respect the law and most importantly try to look at THE ACTUAL PROBLEMS

      • Just because there are bigger problems in the world does not mean that we should not have the right to voice an opinion on such an important topic such as social safety. I presume you have never felt unsafe at the University or this society in general which is fanatastic for you, but many people have and they have been silenced when they tried to speak up. Once you live in a “proper” democratic society, it is possible to show discontent on “smaller” issues. Whether or not the right way to do so was to occupy the Academy builiding is a matter of difference of opinions. What is important in this situation is how the University reacted – by sending in police to drag and beat students. Now this should not be a reaction of a “first-world country” university to a peaceful demonstration.

        • There is nothing peaceful about those demonstrations. Violating property rights and not leaving the premises when asked to do so, is in fact a violation of our law. This has little to do with difference of opinions, but about respecting law and order. Now, it’s clear to all of us that these so-called protestors have zero respect for our democracy and state law. If they had any decency, they’d have resorted to legal options, not the illegal one. Illegal occupation always gets ended by the police, in case you didn’t know yet.

          The fact that colleagues and students from the arts faculties are now crying about injustice, while they willfully broke the law, speaks volumes about their characters and respect of law and order. And it once again demonstrates why the RuG should chime in with commissie van Rijn when it comes to funding of arts and sciences; less money to arts and more to real science. Empirical evidence (yesterday once again) shows how our colleagues and students from Arts and other much criticized disciplines have plenty (too much?) time left over to engage in destructive behaviors and add little value to society.

          • Ahh, classic. A dutch person cares more about the “rights” of inanimate, non-sentient buildings than of non-Dutch human beings.

          • Also, this whole movement began with the firing of a professor from the faculty of ECONOMICS and BUSINESS. Not art. But continue to make your presumptive & reactionary claims.

  7. I am grateful for the brave and resilient fight the students are putting up. The firing of Susanne Täuber points at systemic injustices and a deep-rooted lack of social safety that won’t change unless the root of the problem is being addressed. The ‘social safety’ campaign that was launched only serves to shift attention away from the root of the problem and those responsible for it. The lack of a safe studying and working environment is dehumanising and causes much suffering. From one human being to another: I wish this could be heard. Solidarity with the brave students!

    • You sound like Trump early January 2021; inciting action based on false claims of an institute being threatened (in this case academic freedom/safety).

      • @the anonymous people fighting for this university. SAY YOUR NAME, or you are as much a coward as the members of this university board

      • @ the anonymous people fighting for this university. SAY YOUR NAME, or you are as much a coward as the members of this university board

        • Psychological help and guidance is available in this country. You might find it quite useful.

      • I did not comment anonymously. As I wrote elsewhere, Suzanne Tauber’s YAG report and the article that is being talked about were less than impressive. Promotions to full professor should only be given to first rate scholars and not as a reward for politically correct activism.

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