Photographer:Fotograaf: Stock Xchange illustration
The number of reports has increased, and in some cases also their severity; the 2010 annual report by the university’s confidential advisor Marloes Rikhof shows an increase in the number of reports of undesirable behaviour, from 57 in 2009 to 82 in 2010.
Of those 82 complaints, 59 were from employees and 23 from students. Some appear to be quite serious. A student has reported assault and rape by a lecturer. It is not clear what happened with the complaint. Whether the allegation was based on the truth, is not explained. If the incident did indeed occur, it can be expected that measures were taken against the lecturer, but Rikhof makes no report of that individual case.
Another harrowing case concerns a homosexual student who, for that reason, was supposedly pestered out of his student house.
In half of the cases in which employees complained, the complaints were directed against superiors who harass, withhold information from, or exclude their victims.
This time, all employees who complained were Dutch, but among the students there were also non-Dutch. The idea of what constitutes undesirable behaviour, is culturally determined and confidential advisor Rikhof therefore wants a programme to be set up across the UM that would eliminate any lack of mutual understanding. She also wonders whether the UM should be held responsible for undesirable behaviour of students and lecturers outside the university premises. During a meeting of a university council committee, it appeared that the Executive Board does indeed think that there is some responsibility, certainly in cases that are reported to the UM.