“We’re signing the code of conduct again this year because we feel it’s important”, says Rector Magnificus Rutger Engels during the meeting. He calls on the student associations to see to it that everything during the introduction period goes smoothly ‘while paying particular attention to matters relating to hygiene and social safety’.

More sleep

Health and safety are key themes in the new code of conduct. For example, a prospective member is required to have had ‘at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night’. Last year it was six-and-a-half hours. They also have to be provided with ‘at least two litres of non-alcoholic beverages and three meals spread out over the course of the day’.

Two years ago the television programme Rambam accused the student society Rotterdamsch Studenten Corps (RSC) of abuses during hazing rituals. RSC was temporarily suspended by the university and announced a ‘sweeping cultural change’. Since that time there is also a code of conduct in force for the Rotterdam student societies’ introduction period.

Inholland also signs

For the first time, Inholland University of Applied Sciences also signed the code of conduct this year. According to a spokesperson, Inholland signed because ‘it shares the common interest of providing a safe study environment where new students in Rotterdam feel at home’.

The code of conduct was also signed by Erasmus University, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, student societies RSC/RVSV, R.S.V. Sanctus Laurentius, SSR-R, RSG, NSR, rowing association A.R.S.R. Skadi, and the umbrella organisation Rotterdam Chamber of Societies. The Rotterdam Higher Education Student Societies Committee will conduct an evaluation once the introduction period has been completed.