Leuven arts faculty bans ‘humiliating’ student initiations
Monday, 04 November 2019
The Faculty of Arts of the KU Leuven university has banned student initiations on the faculty’s premises because it considered the practice to be degrading, humiliating and potentially dangerous.
“We believe the challenges to be degrading. Women are made to carry a banana between their legs while others attempt to peel it. Whereas today we are rightly very careful about sexual intimidation, this is unacceptable.”
The faculty is also concerned because students must declare at one point: ‘I am nothing’, Jo Tollebeek, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, explained.
Lana Van den Heuvel, President of the organizing circle LOKO, said that the decision is unacceptable.
“The booking request is always accepted for associations that sign the initiations charter, and this faculty’s circles sign the charter.” According to her, the ban goes against the charter.
“One of the rules is to organize the initiation activities in a private place so as not to interfere in public life. The faculty’s inner garden is the perfect place. Now we will have to organize it on the very public Ladeuzeplein,” Van den Heuvel stated.