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Joint declaration University Council against homophobia and discrimination

16 June 2016

In light of recent events, the University Council confirms its strong stance against all forms of harassment, aggression, violence, and discrimination. The Council calls upon staff members and students to report any undesirable behaviour and/ or unequal treatment, irregularities within the organization, or problems with work relations and wrongful/ unreasonable treatment to the Confidential Advisor of the University. These include, but are not limited to:

  • sexual harassment: any unwelcome sexual advance in the form of requests for sexual favours or other verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour (including the unsolicited sending or deliberate consultation of pornographic images or texts in a way that is visible to others, including via the internet);
  • aggression and violence: the deliberate verbal expression or use of physical force or power, or threat to use physical force or power, directed at an employee or student;
  • discrimination: in any way making statements about, acting against or taking decisions about people that insult them by virtue of their race, religion, sex, creed and/or sexual orientation, or making any distinction on the basis of these aspects; and
  • bullying: the systematic, repeated psychological abuse of a colleague or fellow student by a person or group.

The advice and support of the Confidential Advisor are based on working conditions and equal treatment legislation, and on internal regulations of the University of Groningen, including the Code of Conduct concerning Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination University of Groningen 2009, pursuant to Article 1.12 of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities and the Whistle-blower's Regulations. The main duties, powers and work methods of the Confidential Advisor are set out in the University of Groningen Confidential Advisor Regulations. The Confidential Advisor's duties form part of the informal complaints procedure. Formal complaints are dealt with confidentially by the independent expert Complaints Committee for Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Aggression, Violence and Discrimination (SIAGD). Lodging a complaint leaves intact the option of discussing the unwelcome behaviours with the University's Confidential Advisor.

The University Council strongly supports recently stepped up efforts by the Municipality to encourage the acceptance and emancipation of all Stadjers and students, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or otherwise. The Council also calls upon the Board of the University and its Chief Diversity Officers, the LGBT student association Ganymedes, and other institutions and individuals to safeguard the inclusion of all members of the academic and wider community. There can be no tolerance of intolerance at university, on or off campus.

On behalf of the University Council,

Tim Huiskes, president

Last modified:24 June 2016 12.09 p.m.
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