Maastricht University restores ties with student association Tragos

Maastricht University restores ties with student association Tragos

There is “sufficient confidence” that the culture within the association is changing

08-03-2024 · News

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University is going to lift the sanctions against student association Tragos, which were imposed in September 2022 after cases of misconduct during hazing. A ‘plan of change’, based on an external investigation, appears to be convincing enough to restore the university’s confidence. As of the next academic year, the association will again be eligible for board grants and participation in the INKOM introduction week.

UM severed its official ties after, amongst others, songs “with manifestations of a racist, sexist and discriminating nature” were sung during a hazing activity. At the time, President Rianne Letschert called the misconduct “shocking” and “totally inappropriate for the values of our university”. The association could no longer claim board grants (worth more than 30 thousand euro a year) and was no longer welcome at events such as the Foundation Day celebrations and INKOM – the primary opportunity for the recruitment of new members. The sanctions were said to remain in force until the Executive Board was “truly convinced” that the culture within the association was changing.

That is now the case. The association has complied with the Executive Board’s requirement to have an investigation into its own culture carried out (by an external agency and at its own expense) and to use the results to draw up a ‘plan of change’. This has already led to “concrete actions”. For example, the association’s codes of conduct and its sanction policies were toughened and members completed training courses on social safety and unacceptable behaviour. They also introduced stricter selection procedures for members who will be involved in hazing: during their application, they amongst others need to show that they are fully aware of all codes of conduct.

In a press release, the university states that the measures taken and to be taken together “give us sufficient confidence that Tragos is adhering to the standards, values and codes of conduct that apply to UM and that they can make a positive contribution to Maastricht student life.” In the time to come, there will be regular meetings to discuss progress. Tragos will also receive an invitation to sign the Introduction Period Code of Conduct, an official UM document that focuses on issues such as health, sleep and personal integrity

Tragos chairman Max Beckers states by telephone that he is “very happy” with the UM’s decision. “As an association, we have worked very hard over the past eighteen months to change the culture and we want to continue to do so. We feel that we’re on the right track. It is nice that the university has acknowledged this and indicates that it has confidence in us.”

Photo: Observant

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: tragos,misconduct,student association,social safety,students

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