450 hours of charity work
Community service for Vindicat members who broke corona rules
The Vindicat disciplinary committee handed down the sentence on Tuesday. ‘The board demanded an unconditional suspension of several months and twenty hours of community service’, says rector Floris Hamann.
But the internal disciplinary committee felt suspending the members would be ‘a performative measure’, says Hamann. ‘The suspension wouldn’t come into effect until the association reopens, but no one knows when that will be. That’s why the committee decided on the community service as punishment.’
The members will have to spend the community service doing something for society. The club will confer with the city of Groningen to determine what that is. ‘The city knows which projects could use the extra help’, says Hamann.
The fifteen members were inside the Vindicat building on the night of April 17, when the building had been closed in accordance with corona rules for a while. A tip led the police to the building, where they fined each member for 390 euros.
It’s still unclear what exactly the members were doing in the building. But one of them turned out to be on Vindicat’s top board, which is how he had a key to the building. ‘He received the same punishment as everyone else’, says Hamann. ‘He also resigned from his position as board member, even before the committee hearing.’
Almost immediately after the incident took place, rector Hamann told the group to apologise to Groningen mayor Koen Schuiling. ‘Before the internal disciplinary committee hearing, we took all fifteen members to the UMCG and to see the mayor’, says Hamann. ‘I think it left quite an impression on them. They expressed their regret, to both the mayor and us.’
As far as Hamann is concerned, the matter is now closed. ‘We’re still upset at what happened, but they each got fined and received a potentially permanent note on their criminal record, they apologised, and they’ll have to donate 450 hours of work to help out the city. We feel they’re being punished justly.’