University of Amsterdam: STOP PETITION TAMPERING AND SILENCING EMILY #JusticeforEmily
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ATTN: GEERTRUDIS THERESIA MARIA TEN DAM
IF YOU (INSTRUCT SOMEONE TO) TAKE DOWN OR TAMPER WITH THIS PETITION OR MAKE ANY SUCH ATTEMPT TO DO SO, THERE WILL BE A PETITION CALLING FOR YOUR RESIGNATION ON EVERY PETITION PLATFORM ON THE WEB.
Dear future signatories,
As you may already know, Emily (pseudonym), a Master’s student at the University of Amsterdam, has been put through a horrendous series of events since 2014. If you are not familiar with the situation, you can read the original text of the online petition created to support her in September 2016. In sum, the original petition describes how a rape survivor’s private information has been used without her consent and held against her, and how she has been subjected to various forms of abuse and discrimination at the hands of the university staff, upon returning to the University of Amsterdam after recovering from rape. It further describes how her complaints only made the situation worse, leading to cover-ups, gaslighting, exclusion from field research and loss of the entirety of academic credits that she had earned.
Since the petition to support Emily started on the 22nd of September 2016, the University of Amsterdam has taken the following action:
- Held a hearing on the 23rd of November 2016 regarding the case that had been submitted almost one year before on the 3rd of December 2015, only to tell Emily that the case had been submitted to the wrong board and she had to go elsewhere.
- Issued a completely false report on the aforementioned hearing that neither attendees nor Emily herself could even recognise as said hearing report.
- After Emily re-submitted the case to the “right” board on the 12th of December 2016, the university stalled the case beyond the prescribed period thereby violating its own regulations, until the dean accused in the case transferred to another university in March 2017.
- Whilst Emily’s case regarding exclusion from fieldwork was up in the air, the university dismissed Emily’s appeal and supported the invalidation of all of her academic credits because she had made no academic progress in her graduation thesis, i.e. the field research she had been excluded from.
- Ignoring the real accusations stated in the petition including privacy violation of, verbal and emotional abuse of and discrimination against a rape survivor, the university president Geert ten Dam twisted them into a false rape accusation and threatened to “initiate legal measures including bringing criminal proceedings for libel, defamation, damage and all other offences that may be considered relevant” against Emily, who had no clue where this false rape accusation was coming from.
- Ten Dam sent a letter to Change.org, and again ignoring the real accusations made in the petition, denied the rape accusation that was not even made, by disclosing Emily’s confidential information including items directly related to her medical and sexual history. The exact same, word for word, text was posted on websites including on Facebook.
- The university hired Vondst Advocaten, a private law firm, made more threats against Change.org and forced them into tampering with the content of the petition including the title, disclaimer, highlights, the main texts, official requests and updates on more than one occasion.
The university has resolved nothing, and Emily’s courage in overcoming rape and coming back to the university to finish her degree has been brutally crushed. Now that she has lost her academic credits, she will lose her student visa in August 2017, which will enable the university to throw her and all the accusations out of the country.
We, UvA students, are outraged by the fact that our fellow student has been treated in such a horrible way. Instead of working towards a resolution in a democratic manner, all the UvA has been doing is making threats and silencing Emily and her supporters, just like it did during the Bungehuis and Maagdenhuis occupations in 2015. Furthermore, the UvA has even hired a private law firm with public funds coming from tuition paying UvA students and taxpayers to take said action. Our money is meant for quality education and the public good, and should never be abused for purposes like this. Therefore, we hereby explicitly and strongly refuse to financially contribute to emotionally abusing and silencing our fellow student or to cover-ups of the university management’s misconduct. We demand that the university management led by Geert ten Dam get its act together and immediately work to resolve Emily’s prolonged, ongoing situation without wasting any more time or public funds on threats and petition tampering.
Please sign this petition if you want to support Emily. Please sign if you condemn the actions of the University of Amsterdam. Please sign if you are a UvA student or a taxpayer in the Netherlands, and are outraged by having your money spent on petition tampering and silencing Emily. Thank you.
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