Make UU Safe Now

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We, staff, students and alumni of Utrecht University, acknowledge with deep gratitude the work of the Actiegroep Wangedrag. We support their findings on the current problems surrounding the University’s complaints procedure and on the lack of clear guidelines on misconduct.

We call upon the Executive Board to follow the recommendations of the Actiegroep, that have also been adopted by the University Council. In particular, we urge the Board to

  • Develop expertise and gather data on misconduct and social safety.
  • Investigate misconduct pro-actively.
  • Offer mental and financial support to those reporting misconduct, ensure their social safety, and defend them against retaliation.
  • End the culture of silence and ensure that complainants remain in charge of what they want to disclose and to whom.
  • Improve the transparency of the complaints procedure.
  • Ensure an independent complaints procedure, including independence from the Board itself, in which the substance of complaints is judged by a committee with expertise on social safety.
  • Adopt a personal relationships policy, so that teachers and supervisors don't view their students, supervisees or employees as potential sexual or romantic partners.
  • Empower victims by expanding and strengthening their opportunities to report misconduct.
  • Support management with clear guidelines and mandatory training on how to investigate complaints and on how to support complainants and affected colleagues and students. 

We consider these steps vitally necessary to create a safe working and studying environment at Utrecht University, where everyone knows what is expected of them and feels empowered and supported to speak out against misconduct. We urge the Board to commit, on April 26, to implementing the proposed measures without further delay.