Tuesday 11 May 2021

Criminal investigation into Vindicat initiation rite


First year students take part in an initiation rite. Photo: Amaury Miller HH

First year students take part in an initiation rite. Photo: Amaury Miller HH

A criminal investigation has begun into an initiation rite at Groningen student university society Vindicat that left a young man in hospital with a severe head injury, reports the Volkskrant.

Although the victim has not made a statement, the public prosecutor has opened an investigation on the basis of other reports that the first-year student was injured ‘because someone was standing on his head.’ Press officer Pieter van Rest told the Volkskrant: ‘This is a serious incident with a major social impact.’

The investigation marks a tide of unrest at outlandish rituals that new university students are asked to perform in order to join societies. On Tuesday, Vindicat announced that it will delete a clause preventing members from speaking about the rituals or risking a fine of €25,000.

Three Amsterdam students were hospitalised last month after swimming in canals or sleeping rough in rubbish in order to join a society. Groningen University and its city council have called for a ban on initiation rituals.

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