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VU UPDATE: Situation in Israel and the Palestinian regions

15 May 2024
Recently, various protests have taken place at our university and other universities. We understand and share the concerns and emotions that the situation in Israel and Gaza brings. On this page, you will find the latest news and information on how we as a university are addressing this situation.

RESPONSE FROM THE BOARD OF EXECUTIVES
The Board of Executives of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has appointed a committee to develop a framework for international collaborations. The framework will apply to existing collaborations, anywhere in the world. It will be based on our own values and international standards, including human rights. The framework will be completed by July 2024. 

Read the open letter from the board here

ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam makes educational spaces available for students and staff to engage in academic knowledge exchange and discussions about the situation in Israel and the Palestinian regions. 

On this page, you will find all information about meetings and activities for the VU community. 

To organize activities on campus, permission is required, and the existing house rules and the VU's code of conduct apply. To ensure activities run orderly and safely, it is required to obtain permission. More information can be found here.

NEWS

17/5 Protest campus square
On Friday, May 17, a number of students and staff members protested on the campus square of Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. The protest was peaceful. "We have seen that there is great involvement among students and staff in what is happening now in Gaza. We endorse the importance of a respectful dialogue within VU Amsterdam. After all, that is what a university is for," according to the vice-chair of the Executive Board Marcel Nollen. 

In recent weeks, the Executive Board has spoken with various groups in the VU community. These conversations will continue in the coming weeks. At the request of students and staff, VU facilitates the opportunity to organize peaceful activities that touch on the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. In order for activities to be orderly and safe, permission must be requested. In addition, participants must comply with VU's house rules and code of conduct.

VU Amsterdam is grateful that it was a peaceful protest and thanks the students and staff, the municipality of Amsterdam and the police region Amsterdam Amstelland for their support and cooperation.
 

17/5 Extra check university ID
On May 17, students and staff may be asked to identify themselves with their university ID upon entry. Other visitors may be asked for their purpose on campus and identification. VU Amsterdam is implementing this measure following the announcement of a walk-out on campus. The main entrances of the buildings will remain open. Read more.

15/5 Dialogue
The Board of Executives attaches great importance to dialogue with various parties directly affected by the situation. Over the past few weeks, there have been various discussions with students and staff. By coming together and listening to each other, the board hopes to gain a better understanding of the diverse viewpoints and concerns within the VU community, and to create an environment where everyone feels free to express their opinions.

15/5 Drop-in Session Spiritual Care
For staff and students seeking help and support following the protests, the Diversity Office, together with spiritual caregivers from VU Amsterdam, offers drop-in sessions for Spiritual Care. During these sessions, students and staff can seek a listening ear, comfort, or guidance for their fears, anger, or concerns.

Upcoming drop-in sessions:
- Friday, 17 May, between 14:00 and 18:00hrs
- Wednesday 22 May, between 10:00 and 18:00hrs, HG 2G22 (filosofenhof)
- Friday, 24 May, between 12:00 and 16:00hrs, HG 2G22 (filosofenhof)

Should you wish to take use of this, you may always drop in at location HG-2G22 (filosofenhof). However, there may be a session in progress and you will have to wait a while. If you want to be sure of your spot, please email divers@vu.nl to make an appointment. You can also ask questions there.






For news or questions about communication deployment, email communicatie.cm@vu.nl.