Thursday 26 January 2023

Groningen student hospitalised after being hit during initiation ritual

Groningen University's main admin building. Photo:

Groningen University’s main admin building. Photo:

A first year student at Groningen University was hospitalised after he was hit on the head during an initiation ritual last month and developed a cerebral oedema, the NRC said on Wednesday.

The student was undergoing the ritual in a bid to join the Vindicat student association, which has some 2,000 members in the city.

The head of the association told the NRC he ‘regreted the incident’ and that the university authorities have been informed. Six older students were stopped from having any further role in the initiation rites, the paper said.

A spokesman for the university said the incident was an ‘internal question’ for the student association, even though it concerned physical violence. It is up to the student whether or not to take the issue further, the university said.

Last week Vindicat hit the headlines when it emerged that a list had been circulating with the name and contact details of 22 female students along with scores of their ‘performance between the sheets’. That led to 13 members being suspended.

Bizarre rituals are a key part of joining Dutch student associations which were recently added to the official list of the Dutch immaterial cultural heritage.


In 2007, Delft University took action after aspiring members of an association were forced to sit in iced water.

In 2010, a first year student was in a coma for 36 hours after drinking six litres of water in a bid to join the Albertus Magnus association in Groningen.

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