Funding Freeze After Student Association’s Sushi Mall Incident

The University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Science (UAS) have suspended the student association Vindicat from the payment of committee grants for this academic year, due to last week’s incidents at the Sushi Mall in Groningen.

On Tuesday, the University of Groningen and Hanze UAS released a statement, in which they announced the suspension of financial support for the association. They based their decision on the negative publicity Vindicat has attracted throughout the last weeks.

One of the main reasons for the universities’ measures is an incident at the Sushi Mall on September 3, in which members of Vindicat were accused by waiters and neighbors of the restaurant of destroying the restaurant’s interior, inappropriate behavior towards waiters and vandalising the neighbourhood.

The investigations are ongoing and the restaurant owner’s claim that the incident was only a case of noise disturbance is uncertain, since more witnesses are stepping forward with more serious allegations.

The University of Groningen’s decision to stop the financial support for Vindicat for this academic year is final, according to Jorien Bakker, spokesperson of the university. “We think it is necessary to give a clear signal, we don’t want these kinds of incidents to happen” Bakker told The Scoop.

Vindicat, like many other associations, depends on this financial support. The University of Groningen and Hanze UAS therefore expect the financial suspension to lead in a change of behavior of the association.

In case the investigations prove Vindicat to be guilty of the accusations concerning the Sushi Mall incidents, or if further misbehavior is displayed, the universities may suspend the student association from financial aid permanently, Bakker said.

Nonetheless, the University of Groningen, Hanze UAS and the municipality of Groningen say they are in favor of an inclusive city. Therefore, further communication with Vindicat is important, said Bakker, “if we cut off all the funds, you don’t belong to us anymore and we don’t want that”.

In July, the University’s Accreditation Committee, gave Vindicat conditions to fulfil, to be granted further accreditation. The University of Groningen and Hanze UAS hope for the association’s change in behavior and culture. According to Bakker, the board of the student association is very cooperative concerning these changes.

Photo: ANP


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