Erasmus University Rotterdam has asked the SP to stop distributing pamphlets on campus. This request was made after party members were seen handing out pamphlets in the EUR grounds last Tuesday to promote a debate.

One student with different political leanings reported this to the university. He said that he didn’t see why the SP was able to distribute pamphlets on campus if his own party wasn’t allowed to do this. The university then sent an e-mail to the SP saying that handing out pamphlets on campus was against the rules and asking them to stop doing it. The party was also asked to refrain from posting videos of their activities on their website, particularly if these videos showed the university logo. EUR does not wish to be linked to the SP in any way.

According to EUR’s spokesperson, the reason why EUR did not stop the SP handing out pamphlets on Tuesday is simple: “We just didn’t see them. No political parties are allowed to hand out pamphlets here on campus. They’re welcome to stand outside the campus grounds, they’ve got every right to do it there.”

Cut to the quick

The SP was cut to the quick by this. In that case, the party said, what does the university want to be linked to? SP member Sandra Beckerman, who organises the debates, complained: “Starbucks is allowed to post on the university website. This company goes around saying that they’re socially responsible, but they’re continually evading paying all kinds of taxes. And a recruitment event is held at the university every year where big companies can recruit students. So why can’t we hand out flyers for a debate on independent science?”

According to EUR’s spokesperson, this ban is laid down in the university regulations and applies to all political parties. “The only people who can hand out pamphlets on campus are members of student associations and study associations, provided that they ask permission beforehand. Of course political parties can hold debates at the university. The SP have rented an auditorium for the event, and that’s perfectly fine. But handing out pamphlets is against the rules. Not only because we want to remain neutral but also because of the mess. All those pamphlets will be left lying about on campus.”

‘SP knew the rules’

The RTV Rijnmond broadcasting company filmed the SP when they were handing out the pamphlets. According to EUR’s spokesperson, the university has a lot of contact with RTV Rijnmond, and they always ask permission first before filming. “But they didn’t ask us this time, so I asked the journalist why. He told me that the SP had asked him not to, otherwise the university would find out that they were there. So obviously they knew the rules.”

Sandra Beckerman feels this statement is excessive. “I really don’t know what to say. And I can’t prove that there’s absolutely no truth in it either. I haven’t had any contact with them at all about this. I’d never do that anyway.”

SP and ROOD have sent an open letter to the university as a result, and follow-up action will be discussed during next Monday’s debate.

The debate will be held between 19:30 and 21:30 on 23 May in the Van der Goot Building.