Students demand better social security measures at the RUG
About fifty students occupied the stairs of the Academy Building of the University of Groningen (RUG) last Wednesday because they want the university to ensure better social safety. Yesterday, the RUG and the students published a joint statement.
The banners speak for themselves: 'Silence=violence' and 'No more silencing, AmINext? Op a video from UKrant.nl, the RUG's independent news platform, you can see how the stately staircase with its red carpet is occupied by about fifty 'Concerned Students'. They denounce the way the university deals with social safety and with critical scientists, such as associate professor Susanne Täuber who was recently dismissed. She had been critical of the university in publications and sees this as a reason for her dismissal.
Sympathizers also protested online against the whistleblower's dismissal with the hashtag #AmINext. They raised more than 21 thousand euros to cover her legal costs. Nearly 4.000 supporters signed in addition, a petition stating that the university should put her back to work. And employees of the Center for Gender Studies of the Faculty of Arts suggested that there was a suitable vacancy for her there, but that was contradicted by the university.
Against it Newspaper of the North said the activists who call themselves 'Concerned Students' that they do not want to be named in the newspaper. They don't know what the consequences are. They did let the newspaper know that they disagree with how the university handles complaints of intimidation and social inequality. That has to change.
The action ended on Wednesday because the Executive Board promised to enter into talks with the students. A joint statement was published online yesterday on the RUG website, in which both parties state that a 'socially safe university for students and staff is always central to the academic community.'
The university explains what is already being done to improve social safety, for example in the statement that the university respects academic freedom and critical research results.
In addition, many employees have already received special training that helps you intervene in the event of transgressive behaviour. A new appointment is also a page on the site where you can quickly find who you can contact if you are dealing with unsafe situations. Complaint handling must also be aimed at the victim's perception of the world.
In three weeks, the students will meet with the administrators again.