A prospective member of Groningen student society Vindicat was beaten so hard during a hazing incident that took place last month that he had to be hospitalised due to a head injury.

Parties involved in the incident told NRC Handelsblad that the student suffered a cerebral oedema, which is a dangerous swelling of the brain due to an accumulation of fluid. It is not yet known whether the male student has suffered permanent brain damage.


Vindicat President Stijn Derksen regrets the incident, he told NRC Handelsblad the day before yesterday. The student society is still trying to determine what happened exactly. The six senior students involved in the incident were suspended during freshers’ week.

Vindicat also attracted some negative headlines last week because society members had disseminated a so-called “slut list” in which 23 female first-year students, whose names and photos were included, had their skills in the sack marked.

Groningen University does not consider the incidents a ground for severing its ties with the student society. A university spokesperson told NRC Handelsblad that it was an “internal affair for Vindicat student society. They will have to deal with and resolve this situation themselves.” The university does not intend to report the incident to the police either. It is up to the victim himself to do so.

In Groningen University’s newspaper, three academic staff members who are on the University Council called on students not to join student societies that have hazing rituals, calling it “a perverse mechanism that does not belong at a university, or anywhere else for that matter.”