The decision to take the aforementioned measures was made after EUR’s Rector, Huib Pols, viewed undercover footage shot by BNN/VARA show Rambam on Friday morning. At the start of the current academic year, the TV show used hidden cameras to film several hazing rituals carried out in the Netherlands.
Transgressive physical behaviour
The footage shows students relating stories of transgressive behaviour, particularly of a physical nature. For example, during the introduction period undergone by RSC/RVSV’s male prospective members, one student was taken to hospital by ambulance after sustaining a head injury.
Relationship of trust
“I find the images very worrisome,” Pols said. According to the Rector, the university has entered into agreements with student societies regarding safe introduction periods, based on ‘high trust and low tolerance’. “The incidents mentioned in Rambam’s footage concern transgressive and unacceptable behaviour. This is jeopardising our relationship of trust.”
Not welcome at Eureka Week
For this reason, the university has cancelled the grants normally issued to RSC/RVSV’s board, as well as the subsidy awarded for first-year students, effective immediately. In addition, the society will no longer be allowed to attend Eureka Week or formal academic events such as the official opening of the academic year and Dies Natalis, the university’s anniversary.
RSC/RVSV previously announced that it would look into the incidents. The university will monitor that investigation, partially because there is no actual footage of the alleged incidents. In addition, the society promised there would be a ‘thorough culture change’. EUR’s Initiation Period Committee, which monitors the safety of hazing activities carried out by Rotterdam’s student societies, will assess the success of the promised culture change. “Once we have all those assessments, we will be able to meet again and see whether our relationship can be restored,” said Pols.