Protesters occupy Academy building, demand social safety

Over fifty students have occupied the stairway of the Academy building. They say they’re not going to move until their demands are met: they want the university to improve social safety immediately.

The students have been blocking the stairs since twelve o’clock. What started as a loud protest, with banners, chanting, and flares, evolved into a silent occupation, as part of an agreement with the university board to not disrupt an ongoing PhD ceremony. 

They’re passing the time playing Uno and sharing snacks, while several workshops are planned in the building throughout the day.

Some passers-by have shown hostility, the students said, aggressively pushing and kicking their way up the stairs. ‘They told us, “learn Dutch before you talk to us”’, according to one of them.


The occupation is ‘100 percent student-led’ and not run by any particular organisation, says another protester, who doesn’t feel safe providing their name. They emphasise that they are all there as one: ‘I can speak for everyone when I say that I am disappointed with the entire institution’, they say.

The protesters demand, among other things, that the university revise its current policies on social safety, in accordance with previous findings on harassment and discrimination by the Young Academy Groningen, for example. They also want the UG to improve its handling of harassment complaints.  

They’re currently talking with the university board, but they don’t plan on leaving any time soon: ‘We brought our pyjamas.’



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