‘Physical or mental abuse towards aspirant members and members is prohibited.’ ‘An aspirant member should have at least 6.5 consecutive hours of sleep per night.’ ‘Aspirant members must not be forced to drink or to eat food.’ According to signatories, not much is new in the Code of Conduct for Rotterdam student associations and organisations. It’s just that the existing agreements are now more ‘explicit’.
“Student associations form an important part of your time as student”, stated Rector Magnificus, Rutger Engels. “You learn to live life in this period and associations play a role in this.” This learning process doesn’t end after the hazing period, so for Engels it is important to emphasise that the behaviours stated in the Code apply throughout the year.
The Code of Conduct was initiated by the Rotterdam student associations. The discussion about the production of a Code was placed on the agenda again following a Rambam TV programme in which an ‘undercover fresher’ talked about abuses during RSC hazing rituals. At that time, the University Council also urged for clearer rules for social associations. “This demonstrated the importance of a Code of Conduct”, stated Saskia Dusseljee, Chair of the Rotterdam Chamber of Associations (RKvV).
Dusseljee is doubtful whether the Code of Conduct will result in changes. “What is likely to have more effect are the discussions that all associations have had together. We discussed the content together, but also asked ourselves: where do the boundaries lie?”
EUR had been discussing key points with the associations for years. What is new is that Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has also signed the code. “More and more of our students are becoming members of a student association. That’s why it is important that we’re part of this”, stated Executive Board Chair, Ron Bormans.
The Code of Conduct was formulated and signed by RSC/RVSV, R.S.V. Sanctus Laurentius, SSR-R, RSG, NSR and rowing association A.R.S.R. Skadi, in collaboration with EUR and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The rules will be re-evaluated every year. The code can be found here.