The University of Groningen (UG) and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen have definitively decided not to pay the suspended Vindicat committee grants to the current board members this academic year. This is due to a violent incident in December 2017 that was not reported to the ACI.
On 30 April, via a regional newspaper, the UG became aware that two members of Vindicat atque Polit had been summonsed in relation to the assault of another member on 3 December 2017 that resulted in serious bodily harm. According to the Code of Behaviour for Student Associations of the UG and Hanze UAS, this incident should have been reported to the Advisory Committee for Introductory Periods (ACI). Not voluntarily reporting physical violence towards members is contrary to the code of behaviour. On Monday 7 May, during a meeting with representatives of ACI, the UG and Hanze UAS, Vindicat finally disclosed the state of affairs.
The committee grants for the current Vindicat board members were suspended in September 2017 by the UG and Hanze UAS after an incident in a sushi restaurant. Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken of the UG: ‘At the end of the academic year we were going to decide whether the board members would be allowed to apply for this monetary contribution from the Graduation Fund. The main condition was no more incidents. The sad conclusion is that this is not the case, and also that they failed to report the incident.’
Vindicat’s accreditation process will continue. The accreditation committee issued its final assessment in July 2017: satisfactory, on condition that... Vindicat is required to satisfy a number of strict conditions. Paul van der Wijk from the Board of the Hanzehogeschool: “If they do not satisfy these conditions by the end of the summer of 2018, the accreditation will not be extended. The consequences of this would be that the student association would not qualify for financial support from the Graduation Fund or that it would no longer be welcome to attend academic ceremonies.”
The UG and Hanze UAS grant financial support from the Graduation Fund to students with a committee or participation council position, students suffering study delay due to extraordinary family-related or other circumstances, or if they play top-level sport. A student committee/board member can claim 6 grant months. A grant month is set at € 444,20. The maximum amount is thus € 2,665 per person, in this case a total amount of € 33,315 (9 committee members).
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