News - July 1, 2020

WUR and student societies sign Responsible Conduct agreement

Luuk Zegers

Ten Wageningen student societies have signed an agreement with the university on responsible conduct.

A relaxed introduction to the student societies for first-years (2019). © Anna den Hartog

Rector magnificus Arthur Mol signed the document on Monday 29 June on behalf of the university. ‘We hadn’t needed such an agreement before because relations have always been positive in Wageningen. When there were a number of controversial incidents in Groningen two years ago, we did discuss the option of an agreement with the societies. We all decided then that it would be a good idea to officially record what we had agreed. That shows the outside world that you take your responsibilities seriously as a student society and as a university.’

The Responsible Conduct document may be new but the content is not. Mol: ‘It basically contains the arrangements we already had, but now they are clearly set out in writing. The idea is that the document will be publically available, both via the societies and via the university.’ The document contains agreements on responsible alcohol consumption, for instance.

Confidential contact person
Amber Laan, chair of KSV Franciscus: ‘In my opinion, there is not much risk of incidents in Wageningen anyway. This document reduces that risk even further.’ Laan says it took a while to reach a consensus. ‘The details had to be properly aligned. But in the end all the parties have the same goal. What the university wants from a student society is the same as what the societies themselves want.’

The agreement documents what is expected of the societies and the university. For example, the societies must have a confidential contact person and the university must offer training for this post for two members from each society. The student societies must submit their introduction programme to a doctor for an assessment of the mental and physical impact and hygiene aspects. WUR will provide the doctor. Discrimination and sexual or otherwise inappropriate behaviour and remarks are forbidden. Laan: ‘In other words, a number of agreements have now been officially recorded, providing further guarantees of safety.’

The Responsible Conduct document can be found (in Dutch) here.