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Groningen University students sit on stage for social safety – The Northern Times

Photo by Susanna Stawiska

Protesters chanted “no more silence” as they streamed into the main hall of the Academiegebouw at noon Wednesday. The sit-in is therefore an effort to draw more attention to their attempts to share their concerns with the university board.

According to one protester, they hope college leaders have the same goals as they do: “I hope the board wants a safe college, too.”

At 1:20 p.m., the university board entered into negotiations with representatives of the protesters. A spokesperson for UG, he said Elies Kouwenhoven was surprised by the occupation. “We invited all sorts of groups and they didn’t want to talk to the board.”

The demonstration follows another symbolic gesture by another group of protesters. On Tuesday, a list of demands including the reinstatement of Professor Tauber of Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior was presented to the university’s Rector Jouke de Vries with 3,500 signatures. About a quarter of university professors signed the statement.

Among the signatories were not only RUG, but also non-Dutch students and staff. In addition to scholars from Cambridge University and Osaka University, the signatures of world-famous scholars such as American philosopher Judith Butler and Dutch political scientist Kass his Mad stand out.

The university declined to comment on the event as well as the broader movement. UklandDe Vries said he would not issue a statement because the immediate issue concerns a lawsuit and formal signatures have not yet reached the university.

De Vries promised protesters to “take a good look” at the petition. Tauber has indicated her intention to appeal the decision, and in six days she raised €18,794 in a crowdfunding effort to cover her eventual court costs.


Inside the Academy building, protesters say their decision to join the sit-in varied from long ago to the last minute, but they expressed a shared sense of conviction. We need to do something about structural oppression,” said one student who requested anonymity.

The occupation of the main university building is the latest in a series of protests in the city by several separate groups. The movement began as an act of solidarity with social justice advocate Susanne Täuber, who was fired by RUG for “broken working relationships.”

Tauber is YAG (Young Academy Groningen) report on discrimination and harassment At university, I published an article on this topic in a scientific journal. The attention caused by the publication soured her relationship with her employer and eventually led to her contract being terminated on International Women’s Day.

Since then, dozens of RUG-affiliated professors, students, and others have posted on Twitter and Instagram with #AmINext.There was also Aletta Jacobs Mural Posterand strikes and Manifestation in front of the school building women’s day.

Update: Wednesday, March 22, 15:11

demands of protesters

Protesters’ official demands go beyond simply reviving Tauber, with a focus on policies to prevent discrimination and harassment and create a safer environment to report it.

Ultimately, the group has an interest in addressing more fundamental issues such as personnel practices and ensuring “adequate support and protection”. [that] It can be used directly by the victim without the expectation of negotiating with the perpetrator first.”

Academic freedom is also a concern. Their demands include keeping the discussion of research topics off-limits when deciding on employee promotions and performance reviews.

“The most important of our demands is a review of social security policies,” said a spokesperson for the Occupant. “But I personally think it’s most important to publicly acknowledge what the university has been doing.”

Are current policies effective?

The university is currently implementing procedures to ensure a safe working environment.Zero Tolerance Statement on Undesirable Behaviorwhere UG confirms its commitment to social safety and encourages staff and students to report instances of harassment.

Protesters also point to recommendations found in the YAG report. The YAG is a group of young researchers from various disciplines in the RUG and UMCG whose goal is to encourage interdisciplinary research and encourage early-career researchers to influence university policy and professional development. to promote and connect the academic and social communities of the North.

The group also points to another set of guidelines developed by Amnesty International, in its higher education manifesto against sexual harassmentAt the time of publication, RUG is not among the 19 Dutch universities that have signed it.

At 15:00, the university board had requested more time to peruse the request, with a view to determining whether any of the concerns raised were negotiable today.

https://northerntimes.nl/university-of-groningen-students-stage-sit-in-for-social-safety/ Groningen University students sit on stage for social safety – The Northern Times

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