Vindicat to be stricter towards members
After the police broke up a house party involving a hundred people packed into a Vindicat house, rector Giezen clearly said the board had no power over them.
‘Of course I’m angry’, he said at the time, ‘but the bylaws give me no authority to punish them in any way. We only have power over incidents that happen at the club or during official Vindicat events. Even though it was a Vindicat house, I have no clout over what happens inside.’
A week after this party, it came to light that Vindicat members organised a bus party that included a DJ, alcohol, and balloons filled with laughing gas. The partygoers broke all corona rules.
People all over the city, including members of the municipal council, were outraged. The VVD said that members are clearly fighting the cultural change the association started in 2016. The liberals have had it. They asked mayor Koen Schuiling to act more strongly, and to withdraw any financial support and ban Vindicat from official city events.
Rector Giezen understands that people feel outrage at members not obeying corona rules. After all, wasn’t the first time.
In the spring, a group of first-year students were standing too close together while waiting to enter a pub. Next, several members, including a board member, were having an illegal party inside the Vindicat building. During one of prime minister Rutte’s press conferences on the corona rules in September, a group of members was found sitting close together and even cuddling on a club house balcony.
‘For anything that happens at the club, we immediately spring into action’, says Giezen. The board installed crush barriers and a doorman in front of the club house to manage the queue for the in-house pub (back when it was still open). They also had new locks installed on the doors to the balcony.
The board member who let people into the club house pub is no longer on the board. ‘Other than that, we’re mainly trying to prevent further incidents. We’re talking to house managers every week and alert the police and the Safety Region when we think people might be organising big parties.’
Against all expectations, the bus party did have consequences for individual Vindicat members. After the board found out two year clubs had rented the bus, Giezen was unrelenting: ‘We’ve stripped the clubs of all their privileges. Basically, they no longer exist as far as we’re concerned.’
The members are no longer allowed to come to the pub as a year club on Wednesday, they’re excluded from official events, and they will not be included in the annual Almanac.
This is a severe punishment for an association where members pretty much do everything with their year club. ‘As far as I know, this has never happened before’, says Giezen.
The board hasn’t doled out many punishments before. How come Vindicat was unable to punish the students organising the house party, but did punish the year clubs after the party on the bus?
‘In this case, it was clear to us who organised the bus party’, says Giezen. ‘Year clubs are subject to the board bylaws, so we were able to act.’
Giezen says that Vindicat is struggling with the changes brought on by the pandemic, just like everyone else. This also explains the more severe punishment for the bus party’s organisers, he says.
Not because of the commotion it caused, but simply because this kind of behaviour is abhorrent right now. ‘Everything is new to us; no other board has ever had to deal with something like this. We’ve realised we need to change our policy to match the circumstances.’