News - September 13, 2012

'Dijkhuizen never takes any notice of what anyone else thinks'

Who? Suzanna van der Meer
What? Student of International Development Studies
Why? Organized the 'WTF Aalt' demonstration prompted by Dijkhuizen's interview in Trouw

How did you hit on the idea of a demonstration?
'On Monday evening we were discussing the interview with a group of friends. We felt it was totally unacceptable that Aalt Dijkhuizen had made a unilateral statement of this nature on behalf of the entire university. He is entitled to his own opinion about intensive farming, but then he needs to speak for himself. We wanted to make it known that the whole organization does not endorse his views. What's more, the employees council was opposed to his reappointment in 2010. So he is really out of order.'
Satisfied with the result?
'We wanted to benefit from the momentum and get the media involved. That meant acting quickly, which meant the demonstration did not have time to grow. Nevertheless, we made the front page of De Gelderlander and got a lot of favourable reactions. This week we will be talking to Aalt Dijkhuizen. So yes, we are very satisfied.'
What are you all going to say to him?
'We think it would be wise to stick to the facts. I'm keen to see whether we can make an impact. Dijkhuizen never usually takes any notice of what anyone else thinks. If something like this happens again, we won't be waving a banner like naive students. We will look into taking legal action. Or we will take the matter to the Supervisory Board.'