“The college ought to look within the mirror”

The UCLouvain Board has taken action to deal with harassment complaints and is already introducing a number of measures.

Jean Hilgers and the rector of UCLouvain Vincent Blondel, 26 April 2019 Louvain-la-Neuve ©BelgaImage

Harassment accusations within the University were not avoided during speeches to the school at UCLouvain in Louvain-la-Neuve on Monday. Jean Hilgers, Chair of the UCLouvain Board of Directors, spoke a “It is a legal and moral duty to take complaints extremely seriously“. He announced certain measures and stated that an independent commission was established under the leadership of Professor Francoise Tulkens to formulate concrete proposals for the prevention and prevention of acts of oppression. The report will be presented in the spring of next year.

A”It is a legal and moral duty to take complaints extremely seriously

Representatives of the General Assembly of Louvain Students (AGL) spoke strongly on the subject in their speech on Monday evening, wondering when the victims will be heard and believing that it is time for UCLouvain to take its responsibilities. Jean Hilgers, president of the university’s board of directors, said the university was shaken by the accusations of inadequately handled harassment.

Our university should look in the mirror. We have a legal and moral obligation to treat complaints with the utmost seriousness and to do so with respect for the fundamental rights of individuals. And therefore, sooner than expected, he should find a global answer to these questions based on various temporal movements. Thus, in the short term and in relation to the prerogatives of the social partners, UCLouvain has already objectified certain weaknesses in its operation and implemented numerous corrective measures.“, Jean Hilgers clarified.

Measures have already been taken

In doing so, he mentioned the reinforced “Joint” cell to give more space to victims’ support. Special training and education is also available for all students. In this regard, Rector Vincent Blondel confirmed that on this return day, all students are invited to follow this awareness and online training in the Moodle course space, which represents 40,000 people. In the coming weeks, more than 1200 people responsible for the University will be trained. “Our university is not going to avoid its obligations. We must devote all our energy to the collective search for effective ways to change mentalities and practices“, supported the rector of UCLouvain.

In addition to these urgent measures, an independent commission was created under the leadership of Professor François Tulkens, former vice-president of the European Court of Human Rights, to prepare proposals for preventing and combating acts of harassment in operations and management. University. His report is due next spring.

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