The occupation of the Erasmus Building by OccupyEUR on campus Woudestein has ended. Since Tuesday morning a small group of OccupyEUR occupied the hall of the building. Despite numerous attempts to have a constructive conversation with the occupiers, they have in no way shown their willingness to do so. The Executive Board cannot and will no longer accept the disruption of activities for large groups of students and staff just because a small group wants to express its opinion.
The building that the students had occupied closed at 7 p.m. Around noon, it was made clear in writing to those present that the building must be empty at that time. At 6:30 p.m., security personnel along with police summoned those present to leave the building.
Those present complied. The Erasmus Building can be used again by students and employees as of Thursday morning.
Update 8 February 14:00 - The Executive Board (EB) has shared the following message with OccupyEUR:
We would like to reiterate that the issues you raise have our attention. Our views are not that different. We feel we have given you every opportunity to express your views. We have had to cancel and move teaching activities because of your presence in the Erasmus Building. We have also taken extra security measures to facilitate your activities so far.
We have sought numerous ways to engage in constructive dialogue with you on the views you express, but in no way have you shown an openness to dialogue. This attitude does not suit an academic community and Erasmian values, nor does it contribute to real solutions.
Therefore, we cannot consider your presence in the building as a demonstration. It is an illegal occupation and we will treat it as such. We cannot and will no longer accept that our activities are disrupted for large groups of students and staff just because a small group has a certain opinion. Similarly, we can no longer continue the necessary security measures to ensure your safety and that of others.
While we regret your unwillingness to work together to find real solutions, we believe it is important for every student to express their views. We are happy to facilitate a demonstration. But even demonstrations are subject to rules. The most important of these are that our activities as an institute can continue unhindered and that we can guarantee the safety of all students and staff, including yours.
As Executive Board, we look for you again today at 3pm to engage with us and seek real solutions to the problems you raise. We are also willing to work together to find a place where you can exercise your right to demonstrate without disrupting the university's activities for others.
Tonight at 7pm the building will close. We urge you to leave the building before then. Anyone still in the building after that time is violating the house rules.
We hope to meet in the hall at 3pm for a constructive discussion.
Update 7 February 22:00 - The building closes at 22:30
As previously stated, the building will close at 10:30 pm. We therefore again urge everyone to leave the building by 10:30 p.m. Anyone still in the building after this time is in violation and there may be consequences. We cannot guarantee your safety, you are responsible if you do not leave the building.
Update 7 February 19:30 - The Executive Board shared the following with OccupyEUR early this evening:
"The Executive Board believes it is important for students to express their opinions openly. The Executive Board is happy that the demonstration today is taking place with respect for other people and their property, and calls for it to stay that way.
The issues raised by OccupyEUR have the board's attention. In fact, we think we have made real progress on these issues, and would like to discuss them with you. We realise that OccupyEUR wants us to do more. However, there are also groups of students and staff who actually think our policies go too far.
As a board, we feel responsible for the entire academic community. We believe academic debate is the only way to achieve our goals as a community. Even with OccupyEUR, we are and have been looking for ways to engage in constructive debate. We regret that it has not come to that yet. In fact, you refer us to EUR academics to discuss these issues with. We will do so - as we did earlier this week with the recognition of the climate and ecological emergency.
We would like to point out that because of your actions today, we have had to replace and cancel classes and exams. We cannot allow large groups of students to be hindered in their activities because of a small group of students expressing their views.
The building normally closes at 7pm, but we would like to give you the opportunity to complete the programme. For security reasons, we cannot allow anyone to stay after closing time. Therefore, we urge you to leave the building by 10.30pm today. Before then, we are happy to have a cup of tea."
Update 7 February 15:00 - The atmosphere is convivial and the Executive Board is seeking dialogue
About 50 people from OccupyEUR have been protesting in the hall of EUR's Erasmus Building on campus Woudestein since 11.30 this morning. Among other things, they want the university to cut ties with the fossil industry, end temporary contracts for employees and ensure a more accessible campus.
The atmosphere is convivial, but due to the protest, another location will be sought for teaching activities taking place today in the auditorium and examination rooms of the Erasmus Building. The inconvenience to staff working in the building is limited at the moment. Staff who are inconvenienced will be advised to continue their work elsewhere.
The Executive Board is seeking dialogue with those present and shares some of their concerns. On balance, we want to have a positive impact on climate and ecosystems as an organisation, in education, research and operations. Therefore, the board has sharpened its sustainable ambitions and made this known in a public statement this week.
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