- The following is a reaction from Rob Mudde on behalf of the TU Executive Board to the results of Delta's research into sexually transgressive behaviour at TU Delft.
“The outcomes of this survey almost perfectly parallel the outcomes of the investigation that Amnesty Nederland published last year. In that sense, while the figures are truly shocking, they do not surprise us. We are, however, concerned about the current student culture,” says Vice Rector Magnificus Rob Mudde.
“As a university, we are responsible for everything that happens under the flag of education on campus. We are not responsible for what happens in the private space, such as in student houses or student associations. But students who experience sexually transgressive behaviour in the private space, suffer huge repercussions. On their studies, for example. We at TU Delft could do better here. The research shows that the helplines are hard to find. We are now working hard on improving the findability of the Confidential Advisers and Academic Counsellors on the website.”
“It is important to understand that there is a difference in being responsible and feeling responsible. TU Delft may not take on the literal responsibility, but it can help by opening up the subject for discussion. We are doing this by encouraging dialogue and are asking the Sports and Cultural Centre X and the Public Lecture Series to address this issue. We are also sponsoring the Time Out theatre company. They are now working on an interactive production about transgressive behaviour and will show it at campus.”
‘There is a difference in being responsible and feeling responsible’
“But for the student culture to change, it would be most effective if these kinds of initiatives came from the students themselves. Recently dozens of student associations signed a declaration of intent in which they pledged to incorporate the issue of transgressive behaviour in their work. The big student associations have already started running training courses on consent and many student associations already have Confidential Advisers. I am very positive and optimistic about this. Further, all OWee mentors will undergo training for the first time on positions of power and making sexually transgressive behaviour open for discussion in the group.
“We are aware that we also need to continue encouraging the dialogue at TU Delft itself, including for the students who are not members of an association. We are not naive. We know that transgressive behaviour is not confined to the entertainment and football world, but that it happens right here at TU Delft too. It is important that we continue to talk to each other about it, that we learn how to deal with each other, and know where our boundaries lie. By continuing to be aware of this issue, I hope that this will improve.