“The positive aspects are being overshadowed”

It is good that this discussion is taking place, but it is a pity that the emphasis is being placed so squarely on negative things. This is the opinion of the Eindhoven social societies SSRE, Demos, and the E.S.C. They are responding to the undercover reporting of hazings carried out by the TV show RAMBAM. The three Eindhoven clubs are keeping tight-lipped about their own initiations and other events, but say there is no question of incidents occurring. They will not be making changes to any of their activities, because they do not believe there is any reason to. The university does not check up on them, due to ‘a basis of good trust'.

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In the Rambam episode 'fake initiates' wearing hidden cameras went undercover at hazings held by the student societies Vindicat (Groningen), UVSV (Utrecht), RSC/RVSV (Rotterdam), and Minerva (Leiden). Most of them beat a hasty retreat because they found it too much to handle.

Fenno van den Eijnde (chairperson of SSRE), Demos president Bennert Smit and Jaap Peterse (president of the E.S.C) admit they find it difficult to form a judgment  based on a few fragments. They can say, however, that this picture in no way reflects their own societies, where there is no question of such abuses occurring. The three society committee members think it is good that this discussion is taking place but regret that the negative aspects are now garnering all the attention. E.S.C president Jaap Peterse: “There are very many societies that have it well organized, and who are simply going about it in a responsible way.” Demos president Smit: “The positive aspects of what societies do are now being rather overshadowed. We work for the community, which includes playing an active role in municipal council elections, and we hold an annual auction.”

The societies have no plans to introduce changes because they do not see the need to do so. Through its spokesperson Barend Pelgrim, the Executive Board has let it be known that "the Executive Board is aware that the societies themselves take a critical approach to the hazing period and that each society has laid down rules of conduct governing its own approach. In practice, the lines between the committees of the societies and TU/e are short. We see no need to change anything and will not be going along to check matters. This works on a basis of trust”.

Main photo | Bart van Overbeeke

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