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Amsterdam student association penalized for violence during initiation

The Amsterdam student association A.S.C./A.V.S.V. has had its board member scholarships withdrawn due to ‘serious incidents’ during freshers’ week initiation. The association is also prohibited from recruiting new members on campus this year.

photo Eugene Onischenko / Shutterstock

A.S.C./A.V.S.V. was informed of this decision earlier today by VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In their joint statement, the institutions speak of their “disgust” with the violence during the freshers’ activities.

A number of participants were wounded during the initiation ceremonies, and several alumni expressed their concern in a letter to the association’s senate, which fell into the hands of de Volkskrant. Evidently there were scenes of “extreme humiliation, with people being kicked and beaten”, and problems that were raised were met with “a wall of denial”.


The senate acknowledged the problems and called it “a miracle” that no one had ended up in hospital. Six of the association’s member societies (disputen) have been suspended due to “gross abuse and humiliation” of prospective members.

But that wasn’t enough. The board members have had their scholarships withdrawn for a year and the association is also prohibited from recruiting members or promoting itself in the buildings of the three universities.

VU Amsterdam, UvA and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences do support the steps announced by the senate, such as abolishing this type of initiation ceremony “in its current form”. They’ll be checking to see whether the association succeeds in its approach.

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