The society building of student association Tragos, Fort Koning Willem I. The building is in Maastricht and looks like a bunker.
The society building of the Maastricht student association Tragos, Fort Koning Willem I. (Photo: Observant)

This year’s hazing ritual for aspiring members of the Maastricht student association Tragos allegedly involved pledges getting pelted with urine and vomiting on each other.

Lees in het Nederlands

According to news website 1Limburg, male pledges had to drink beer mixed with sardines, leek and garlic, causing them to vomit on each other.

Urine throwing is said to be a common practice among Maastricht students, who refer to it as ‘strepen’ (striping). Many of this year’s Tragos pledges appear to have had objections to the tradition, however: out of 175 aspiring members, 40 are said to have dropped out last weekend.

President of Maastricht niversity Rianne Letschert told university newspaper Observant that songs containing “racist, sexist and discriminatory lyrics” were sung by members of the student association. According to Letschert, the lyrics were “far beyond the pale”, but she declined to provide further details.

Severe sanctions
In a written statement, the university says that it is “deeply disappointed” and that “severe sanctions” will be imposed on the association. According to Observant, a total amount of 60,000 euros in board grants and other subsidies has been revoked. Until further notice, Tragos will also be barred from participating in Maastricht’s freshers’ week, INKOM.

“MU does, however, invite the association to draw up an improvement plan”, the statement reads. “Based on the extent to which improvements are actually realised, MU may reconsider the sanctions imposed in due course.”

Past misconduct
This is not the first time that the Maastricht student association has been reprimanded for misconduct. Tragos also made headlines five years ago, together with another association.

At the time, Tragos disagreed with the university’s decision, but this time around the association seems more willing to admit fault. According to 1Limburg, Tragos is “deeply shocked”, and eight members have been suspended indefinitely.

In Delft, too, things have recently got out of hand. Last month, the executive board of TU Delft imposed sanctions on the student associations Delftsch Studenten Corps (DSC) and Virgiel. This because of incidents during the introduction time in 2021 (DSC) in which freshmen were doused with candle wax and had their hair set on fire while supervisors were drunk. At Virgiel, a group of four or five members assaulted a fellow student during a drinks party. He ended up naked in the glass on the floor, while nobody interfered.

Both associations received an official warning with a probation period of three years. During this period, the TU Delft can revoke its recognition of the associations in case of new incidents and can limit its funding of board months. Both associations also had to ‘pay attention to inclusiveness and social safety of their members’ during the OWee and the introduction time. In addition, DSC was not allowed to attend the opening of the academic year and is also excluded from the Dies Natalis of the university.

HOP, Bas Belleman / Delta
Translation: Taalcentrum-VU