Verbal abuse against staff and a threat to a former doctoral advisor. These are two of the three cases in which Erasmus University was forced to issue a campus ban in 2016, according to figures from EUR’s Legal Affairs department. When and why is a campus ban issued? And what does that mean for the student concerned? Five questions about the campus ban.
When is someone given a campus ban?
According to the student charter, denying access to a campus or part of the campus is aimed at students ‘who do not comply with the rules of order or who behave in an unacceptable manner’.
For reasons of privacy of those involved, the university is unable to elaborate on the three bans issued in 2016. “These bans were related to verbal abuse of staff and a threat to a former doctoral advisor,” says Jerimi van Laar, head of the Administrative and Legal Affairs department at EUR.
In the latter case, a woman in a confused state continued to pester her doctoral advisor, adds EUR spokesperson Sandra van Beek. “When she started to use threatening language on social media, she was denied access to the faculty concerned.”
‘It often involves people who have been aggressive due to an illness or people with a short fuse.’
Another campus ban in 2016 concerned a student who had a business on campus, according to an article published about it in the AD newspaper. After verbally abusing university staff, he was given a ten-day campus ban and he was unable to use the rooms on campus that he used for his business.
In practice, Van Beek says that campus bans are issued to people who have become or who show signs of becoming aggressive due to illness. “In other words, people with a short fuse.” It doesn’t often end up in real violence. “It usually doesn’t go further than threats. Fortunately, it’s been years since there was any real physical violence.”
What does a campus ban mean?
When someone is given a campus ban, they are temporally denied access to the campus, or to part of it. Initially, such a ban lasts ten days and may be extended. The ten-day ban can be imposed by any head of a department or faculty, so generally the dean. Only the Executive Board can issue a longer ban. Both institutions can also impose a suspended campus ban.
Students or staff who are given a campus ban may lodge an appeal, initially with the Executive Board. If this is not successful, there is another possibility to appeal to the Appeals Tribunal for Higher Education (CBHO) in The Hague.
How often is such a campus ban given?
Statistics from the Administrative and Legal Affairs department show that since 2013, five bans have been issued. The peak year was 2016: in that year, EUR issued three bans. In one of these cases, one person was eventually denied access to the campus for a year.
‘Compared with the whole population at EUR, these are exceptional cases.’
Is that a lot?
“When we compare it against the whole population here at EUR, these are exceptional cases,” says Van Beek. More often misbehaving EUR students or staff are informed of the possibility of a campus ban.
Threatening a ban often appears to be enough in practice, says Van Laar. “But in general, a conversation telling the person concerned that the instrument exists and can be applied is enough not to have to use it.”
How is the ban enforced?
In order to enforce the ban, the faculty or other service is informed, as well as Security. They monitor whether someone returns to the campus. “If someone is seen on campus after all, the police are called,” says Van Beek.