In October, the RUG decided from that point forward to inspect student associations in order to prevent misconduct, such as the abuse at Vindicat last August. Associations that want to be eligible for a scholarship for student representatives are required to be part of an accreditation process. However, this does not mean that associations that are not part of such a process can get away with violence, intimidation or humiliation, RUG director Sibrand Poppema says.
The president states that there is a zero tolerance policy. ‘The accreditation is designed to help associations change the existing culture, starting with Vindicat. However, all associations know what is and is not permitted. And all student associations – accredited or not – that allow misconduct to occur know they’ve got a big problem’, he said in the University Council on Thursday.
Associations that do not meet the accreditation standards will not receive funding from the graduation fund. If a student association refuses to cooperate with the accreditation, for example because it can do without the scholarship, then the university will use different methods to deal with the association in case of misconduct.
‘The accreditation is not a cover-all for everything that can go wrong’, Poppema says. ‘If something goes wrong, then the association will have a problem with the university, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the municipality. There are other methods than the graduation fund; this will concern permits, etc.’
The RUG had previously announced that not only student associations, but also sports and study clubs can be inspected with respect to ‘proper student introductions’.