Training course on inappropriate behaviour compulsory for first-year students in Maastricht
In the fight against inappropriate behaviour Maastricht University plans to make it compulsory from next year for all new undergraduates to follow a training course.
University President Rianne Letschert announced this intention last week at the meeting of the Maastricht University Council, university magazine Observant reports. It is not yet clear whether the training courses relate only to inappropriate sexual behaviour or also to social safety in general. Nor who will give the courses.
More than a year ago, Maastricht University signed an Amnesty International manifesto. This signified that it would do more to combat inappropriate sexual behaviour. In addition, the discussions held with student group Feminists of Maastricht (FoM) and worried staff members contributed to the new plan, Letschert said during the council meeting.
Last October, FoM accused the university’s executive board, on social media and during a protest, of maintaining a ‘rape culture’. According to FoM, a victim of sexual violence asked the university in vain for help.
Letschert hopes to start the compulsory training courses at the beginning of the new academic year, Observant reports. If necessary, only with an information session about where students can go for help inside and outside the university.
A survey conducted by Vox last year revealed that students in Nijmegen also face sexual intimidation, dirty jokes, catcalling, and even rape. Researcher Marijke Naezer therefore called for mandatory education on consent and active bystander training. Thus far, Radboud University has not responded.