Student society rocked by sexism scandal faces further scrutiny

Students clustered together while studying outdoors.
Photo: Depositphotos
Students clustered together while studying outdoors.
Photo: Depositphotos

Four fraternity students caught on film making sexists remarks during speeches marking the anniversary of an Amsterdam University student society have tendered their resignation amid widespread condemnation, Dutch media report.

The ASC, or Amsterdamsch Studenten Corps, and its female arm AVSV, were celebrating in separate halls in the capital at the weekend when four male speakers were overheard issuing a string of obscenities about women, and led members in chanting of ‘whore, whore, whore’.

Footage of the events and a letter of protest signed by 270 mainly female students,  have since led to the resignation of the four men, three of whom held positions in the society. They will also apologise during a fraternity meeting, president of the board Heleen Vos said in a statement.

She also announced an investigation into the events, which it emerged also included a sex act as part of the programme, but called on people inside and outside the fraternity to stop posting threats against the men on social media.

The society had already been cut off from receiving top-up grants for active members following abusive hazing rituals last year, and that will now be continued. The admission of new members, which reportedly include crown princess Amalia, has been suspended.


The foreign affairs ministry told the society to remove the ministry’s logo from its site, which had put there to draw attention to the ministry as a potential employer. And education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf said on Twitter he was shocked by the ‘extreme’ comments which show ‘how deeply rooted’ the problem is.

Mayor Femke Halsema called the behaviour of the men ‘unacceptable and repellent’ . The call by one of the students on the podium to ‘break women’s necks’ constitutes an incitement to violence, she said.

The mayor said the events are also ‘a slap in the face of those who have worked hard to achieve a culture change at the society’.

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