Vindicat first year student hospitalised
Vindicat confirms that the incident occurred. ‘The board deeply regrets the fact that this aspiring member suffered bodily harm during the introduction period in August’, the association says in a statement.
NRC reports that the first year student was allegedly struck so hard in the head that he suffered a cerebral oedema, a dangerous swelling in the brain caused by accumulating fluids. Six senior members were suspended for the remainder of the introduction period.
Immediately following the incident, the student association initiated an ‘in-depth investigation’. The board expects to report on its findings in two weeks. ‘That is when we’ll decide on our position in this case and determine which actions we feel we need to take’, according to the board.
Whether the student has suffered lasting damage from the assault is unclear. He is now a Vindicat member. According to the association, neither the member nor his family want to talk to the press. ‘However, the article in the NRC has forced us to release a statement.’
According to RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens, the university was informed about the assault through the advice committee orientation. He says the incident ‘is an internal matter for the student association’. ‘The University Council’s stand is that they have to handle and resolve it themselves’, according to the spokesperson.
The RUG will not press charges, therefore. ‘That is up to the student himself’, says Deekens.
Utrecht University stepped in when, in 2002, several students passed out during student associations Veritas’ hazing ritual. The university ended the association’s subsidising contract.
According to Deekens, the RUG has no such connections with student associations. ‘They are independent bodies, governed by their own board. Students choose for themselves whether or not they want to join.’
The Vindicat board members are given a grant from the university’s graduation fund. ‘But that’s the board members, not the association itself’, the spokesperson explains.
Previously, the University Council’s Personnel faction called on members of associations that haze to leave, following the UK’s publication of photos of their hazing practices taken from Vindicat and Albertus almanacs.
‘The practice is revolting. Hazing is a perverse mechanism that has no place at a university − it has no place anywhere. ‘Down with hazing’, members Antoon de Baets, Bart Beijer, and Gert Jan Bokdam wrote in an opinion piece for this website. The party wants the University Board to condemn hazing practices.
Earlier this week, Vindicat became the talk of the town because of the ‘True Almanac’, a bang list in which members encourage each other to bed 22 ‘hot chicks’. ‘Let’s destroy these dirty bitches’ pussies!’ the members wrote in the list’s introduction.
After the list was made public, Vindicat initially suggested that the members should apologise to the students on the list, according to De Volkskrant. They were also considering offering a gift certificate for a spa day as a peace-offering.
They ultimately decided to suspend 13 male members in connection to the list.
Update, 11:40 a.m.:
According to Beijer, the Personnel faction will ask the Board of Directors to address the matter on Thursday during the University Council meeting. ‘Henk Pijlman (chairperson of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, ed.). has posted a strongly worded reaction on Twitter. It’s time for the Board of Directors to do the same’, he says.
Tweet translation: ‘What a mess there at Vindicat. First the bang list, now a student who was so badly injured that he suffered a concussion. Time for formal complaints.’
Wat een bende bij @GSCVindicat . Eerst de Bangalijst nu een student zo in elkaar geslagen dat hersenletsel is ontstaan. Tijd voor aangiftes
— Henk Pijlman (@henkpijlman) 28 september 2016
Update, 3:45 p.m.:
Groningen mayor Peter den Oudsten is calling on the board of Vindicat to file a police report against the members that who injured the first year student during the initiation period so badly that he wound up in the hospital, according to Dagblad van het Noorden. ‘Their own rules cannot be permitted to replace Dutch national law.’
According to the mayor, hazing rituals which put students at risk of physical and mental harm are no longer appropriate in this day and age.