DIT stands in solidarity with the evicted students of OccupyEUR

Statement by the Design Impact Transition (DIT) Platform
Students and staff sitting on the floor of Sanders building, listening to one speaker. Banners hang from the wall.

On Monday, 28th of November 2022, students and staff peacefully occupied the Sanders building to demand Erasmus University cuts all fossil ties, ends precarious employment, cancels student debt and makes education accessible. Instead of entering a dialogue, the Board of Erasmus University (CvB) sent in the police riot force and let 10 participants be arrested.  

At the Design Impact Transition (DIT) platform, we condemn this aggressive and untransparent approach, which lacked clear and open communication. This is even more so in the light of our strategy for ‘positive societal impact’, and ambition to turn our university into a driving force towards positive societal change. How can we claim to drive positive societal change and then evict our very own students, who are telling us to address the most important societal challenges there are?  

The eviction of students constitutes a fundamental infringement of academic values of free speech. Universities are supposed to be safe sanctuaries for dissent and productive dialogue. University leadership is supposed to create a safe space for peaceful dialogue and critical voices. This week, our CvB threatened the safety of our students. 

In solidarity with the evicted students, we call upon the CvB to 

  • ensure the safety of all students who formed part of the occupation and immediately end any institutional repercussions against them 

  • immediately enter a dialogue with our students and the entire Erasmus community about the students’ demands and the fundamental infringement on core academic values by the eviction that happened yesterday 

These demands are articulated in this open letter signed by EUR staff from various faculties. We invite our colleagues to co-sign the letter. 

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