Friday evening last week, police were called to a recreational lake in Groningen after a Vindicat party. RTV Noord reports that the mood turned grim following the event, with fights breaking out among the crowd and buses being damaged.
The buses were supposed to take the students back to the city centre, but Vindicat members intimidated bus drivers and other passengers, flouted mask rules and removed safety hammers from their holders. Riot police were called to the scene to restore calm, but ultimately no intervention was needed.
After talks with the police, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the University of Groningen and Vindicat, Mayor Schuiling decided to put the kibosh on a large sailing event that was to take place at the end of this week. In a letter to the Groningen city council, Schuiling makes it clear that a “profound culture change is needed” at the society. He also takes exception to Vindicat’s “lack of self-correcting ability”.
Vindicat has offered its “heartfelt apologies” for last Friday’s events, stating that they “do not represent our society’s values”. The board intends to do everything in its power to track down the members involved, after which “appropriate measures” will be taken. In consultation with the city council, it has decided to suspend all upcoming Vindicat events.
Plagued by scandal
Vindicat has been plagued by scandal in recent years due to reports of hazing excesses, sexism and other misbehaviour among its ranks. Because of these problems, the association’s board grants were suspended for two years, during which time Vindicat was also barred from attending official higher education events in Groningen.