Since last year, a group of psychology students have made a habit of congregating outside the doors of the exam hall. They play music, drink alcohol, smoke, talk loudly, and are generally a nuisance.
After the first exam period of this year, the troublemakers took it even further. According to Rita Landeweerd, board member at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, (BSS) they created an ‘aggressive atmosphere’. The group was admonished for its behaviour, but refused to calm down or leave.
‘This is not acceptable behaviour on RUG grounds’, says Landeweerd. ‘This group clearly doesn’t care about its fellow students and this odd habit needs to end.’
Excluded from exams
Roelof van der Heide, the Aletta Jacobs hall’s manager, is aware of the issue. He confirms things got out of hand at the start of the academic year. ‘Some people finish their exams and just don’t have any consideration for other people after that. They let loose and aren’t willing to stop when their behaviour is addressed.’
Landeweerd says that students were alerted to the RUG’s code of conduct on Nestor. Next, the students involved were told that if they didn’t put an end to their behaviour, they were in danger of being excluded from exams. But according to Landeweerd, the warnings made little difference.
That is why they decided to appoint a security guard to prevent any trouble during this year’s second exam period. Landeweerd says it’s a ‘severe measure, but unfortunately, it’s necessary’. BSS will pay for the security guard.
The extra security measures have been successful. The guard will continue to monitor the final days of large psychology exams for the next few exam periods. Landeweerd doesn’t know if this will be necessary next year: ‘Maybe it’s just this particular group, and the trouble will cease when they graduate.’
According to manager Van der Heide, the Aletta Jacobs hall does everything in its power to prevent nuisance. There are several signs throughout the building that say ‘exams in progress, quiet please’. He hopes students will obey the signs.