Utrecht fraternity in sexism storm ordered to clean up its act

Part of Utrecht University. Photo: Raph2009 via Wikimedia Commons

Utrecht University and the city’s hbo college have stopped giving grants to the student fraternity Utrechtsch Studenten Corps (USC) following revelations about a list rating female students on their appearance and performance in bed. 

Grants to the fraternity have been frozen until the end of this academic year at least, and its representatives have been told they are no longer welcome at official events. 

University and college officials have also told the fraternity it must make a public apology for the list, particularly to the students who were included on it, and draw up a plan to make sure things like this do not happen again.  

“We know that changing the culture takes a lot of time and effort, but we want these sanctions to show USC members that they went too far, and have had an irreversible impact on their fellow students,” rector Henk Kummeling said. “It is of the greatest importance that improvements are made quickly.” 

The list featuring 30 first year students took the form of a PowerPoint presentation, including photo, addresses and other personal information alongside texts such as “needs make up” and “common, but horny”.  

Several of the young women have now made formal complaints and brought in a lawyer. 

Legislation to combat sharing personal data, such as names, private addresses and phone numbers online as a means of intimidation, a practice known as doxing, came into effect in the Netherlands on January 1.

Other incidents

It is not the first time the USC has come under fire. Last year a photo emerged showing that the fraternity had hired a stripper to take part in a “game” naked. At that time the university and college authorities described the incident as unacceptable but did not take any further action.

In 2022, Amsterdam fraternity Amsterdamsch Studenten Corps hit the headlines after four male speakers at an event were overheard issuing a string of obscenities about women, and led members in chanting ‘whore, whore, whore’.

The society had already been cut off from receiving top-up grants for active members following abusive hazing rituals in 2021.

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