By Cille Kaiser
— Stichting DUWO, the housing agency providing housing for AUC students, has issued an official warning to all students residing in the string from which a couch, among other objects, was allegedly thrown on the night between 9 and 10 December 2016. In response to the warning, AUC administrators called the students involved to a meeting and made a note of the incident in their student file.
DUWO had initially issued a warning to all students residing in the entire block that borders KinderRijk, the daycare centre in whose garden the couch, among other objects, landed. The warning was issued on 15 December, and addressed the whole block, since it was unknown to DUWO at the time what room the objects had come from. Upon finding out what specific string the couch belonged to, DUWO sent out a final official warning to all residents of this string on Thursday, 26 January.
“Stichting DUWO cannot accept that residents are directly or indirectly involved in actions that may get someone severely injured or killed”, noted the e-mail. DUWO further emphasized that residents share the responsibility for the common room in their string, and may thus be held responsible for violations that took place in the common room even though they were not directly involved with the incident themselves.
AUC was notified about the warning and called all students residing in the string to a mandatory meeting on Tuesday, 31 January. AUC’s Managing Director Belinda Stratton and Student Life Officer Vinika Porwal led the meeting, that was called to discuss the incident at hand, and the consequences for the students living in the string.
Stratton said the meeting was part of the standard procedure between AUC and DUWO in the case of a serious incident in the dorms. First year Social Science major Chiara Arena, one of the students to receive the final warning, said the meeting started with a talk about the severity of the incident, after which the consequences and ways to avoid such situations in the future were discussed. It was then that it became clear that DUWO’s warning would result in an official note in the residents’ student file.
However, Arena said it soon became clear to Stratton and Porwal that none of the students in attendance were directly involved with the incident. “They agreed that this was a very unfortunate situation”, said Arena.
Nevertheless, the students in question received a note in their AUC file on top of DUWO’s official warning. Porwal explained to the Herring that this note will cause no further repercussions to the students’ academic- or social life unless likewise misbehavior should occur in the future. “If the student receives further formal warnings from DUWO, and especially if they are for repetition of the same misbehavior, then AUC may be forced to consider sanctions”, said Stratton.
DUWO was unavailable to shed light on the implications of the official warning at the time of the writing of this article, but the official warning that was sent out to the students did not indicate that there would be any further repercussions for now.
Stratton said that the note in the students’ academic file may be erased, should DUWO retract the official warning in the event of the person(s) responsible stepping forward.
“I kind of understand the position of AUC”, said Arena. “DUWO gave us a formal warning, and that’s their normal reaction to [situations like these].” Arena’s frustration lies mostly with those actually responsible for the incident. “We all feel frustrated that we are being made the scapegoats for someone else”, Arena said.