The university requires RSC/RVSV to produce an action plan for cultural change. Student associations are ‘very important for students in terms of development and entertainment, certainly during this pandemic,’ says the university. “No form of violence and aggression is acceptable to us, and no student ‘tradition’ justifies this.”
Friso van der Werf, president of the association, totally agrees. He calls the raid ‘an unacceptable and shameful action’. When asked if he supports the required cultural change, he says: “Absolutely, we feel that it’s essential too. We are now talking to the university and our members about it. This will need to lead to an action plan with concrete goals. That will be the main task for our board next year.”
RSC members charged with assault and suspended after invasion of Delft fraternity clubhouse
Charges have been pressed because of assault and damage to the society’s property. 41…
Three board members resign
The RSC/RVSV members involved have been suspended until it has been established who did what. Three of them were board members of the association. “The three senators have resigned from the senate”, says Van der Werf. “The behaviour involved in the action in Delft does not represent the culture that we as the board envisage for the association. As board members present during the incident, they blame themselves too. They feel that they share responsibility for everything that happens in the association, so also what happened that evening.” The resignations will not majorly affect RSC/RVSV, according to the president. “It will mean more work, but we’ll manage.”
The university not only wants a promise of better behaviour from the association: it has also asked for an action plan. “We take this incident very seriously, and we see that the association does too. Which is good”, according to a spokesperson for Erasmus University. Rector magnificus Annelien Bredenoord has been in contact with the association in person and by phone.
Van der Werf describes the conversations with Bredenoord as ‘critical, but constructive and looking to the future’. “We have a good partnership, which provides great support.” According to Van der Werf, it’s still too early to suggest any real ideas about the requested cultural change. “But it’s obvious to everyone that this is necessary.”
The Rotterdam students undertook their raid in Delft as ‘retaliation’. First years from the fraternity in Delft had stolen a chair from the RSC/RVSV board. Videos from that Friday 19 November show the Rotterdam students invading the fraternity premises with fireworks and baseball bats. During the incident, members and former members of DSC were attacked. One of them reported a case of assault to the police. The damage also consists of a broken window and smashed crockery and furniture.
The police are still conducting enquiries. Friso van der Werf, president of RSC/RVSV, has offered his apologies in Delft several times, as well as to the police.
This is not the first time that the university has required a cultural change from the association. In 2018, RSC/RVSV were in trouble after problematic situations during the fraternity hazing. The former board promised improvements and even hired an external bureau to help.