Association members who work at the clubs’ bars will have to earn a certificate saying they can responsibly serve alcohol to people, the introduction weeks will focus on responsible alcohol consumption, and the bars must always make water freely available.
Mayor Peter den Oudsten is proud of the pledge. ‘We made an agreement with the student association to set up this pledge. And here it is. We’re the first city to do this.’
‘This is your work’, Den Oudsten told the presidents of the eight student associations. ‘But it’s only a start. We have to build off of this over the next few years.’
The eight student associations (Vindicat, Albertus Magnus, Dizkartes, Cleopatra, Bernlef, Unitas, the Navigators, and the GSV), as well as Contractus, the student association umbrella organisation, have all signed the pledge. The municipality of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and the RUG also added their representative signatures.
Sander Korteweg, Unitas rector, said: ‘This is the end of this particular process. But we have to take it much further. I’m glad we’ve all signed now, but it’ll take a few years to implement all the new rules.’
Failure to uphold the pledge would be taken into account when determining association accreditation.
Navigators president Anniek Ypenga is happy with the pledge. ‘We worked on it for a whole year. To see the results from that work is really cool. Especially since we got it finished before our year on the board ends.’
Job van der Weg, Albertus Magnus praeses, sees the potential. ‘We’re showing everyone that the entire student population of Groningen supports this. It’ll only get better in three years.’