Starting from this year, at the request of Erasmus Pride and the Diversity Office, EUR will raise the rainbow flag several days a year. The international symbol of LGBT+ acceptance will be raised on several poles for the first time during the Rotterdam Gay Pride event (21-24 September).
To Jona Frasch, the 22-year-old psychology student who is the Chair of Erasmus Pride, the rainbow flag has great symbolic value. “The university is becoming more diverse, both in terms of ethnicity and of gender. Hoisting the rainbow flag is a symbolic act designed to celebrate this increased diversity. And moreover, I feel much more welcome at a university that hoists the rainbow flag. It is a guarantee to me that I will be accepted and respected here.”
“The university must be a place where everyone feels at home and is given the opportunity to make the most of himself or herself,” says Marlies Staphorsius, the Marketing and Communication officer involved in the decision. “This is what we want to emphasize by hoisting the rainbow flag.”
For this reason, the flags will fly at the entrance to the campus, on top of M Building, at Erasmus University College and at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague on 11 October (Coming Out Day), among other dates.
HR preserves neutrality
Last year, there was much ado at the Hogeschool Rotterdam (HR) because the school refused to fly the rainbow flag, its argument being that the school sought to preserve neutrality. Media icon Tim Hofman took up the case in his YouTube show BOOS and made sure that the school hoisted a rainbow flag, after all. Even so, the directory decided not to raise a rainbow flag at Hogeschool Rotterdam this year, either.
Update 18 September: Rector magnificus Huib Pols will hoist the first rainbow flag on Thursday 21 September. The specially designed flag contains the university logo. By mail, the rector and Chief Diversity Officer Hanneke Takkenberg invite everyone to the hoisting. This takes place at 3 pm at the flagpoles next to the tram stop.