Move away from growth policies
Universities are NOT companies
o Put an end to investments used to achieve a better position in rankings
o The university must decrease its focus on branding and marketing, and use the money for people's well-being and better work conditions.
Deprivatise food/cafeterias on campus (check Antikantine’s manifesto):
- Catering at universities becomes non-profit and non-private. We transition to a university-owned canteen.
- The university must provide affordable food. No more than 3 euro’s for a full meal, and at least one cheaper option that is also a full meal. The canteen should also be affordable for all staff.
- The university ensures a democratic canteen through a food-board. We want students to have a real and permanent say in how we organize food at the university. The food board should be elected or appointed by elected representatives. It should have formal power over how food is organized. The food board needs an inbuilt system of continuance, and be transparent and approachable for students and staff.
- Canteen staff are offered permanent contracts and receive fair wages.
- The university provides a sustainable and circular catering system from sourcing to food on the plate to waste management.
- The university sources food from ethical and local producers. Food should be seasonal, local and food waste should be avoided.
- The caterer offers transparency: The canteen and all its operations are transparent to the public and accessible online. We want transparency on the source of food, on the wages and budgeting, and the carbon footprint and waste and water management.
- The university ensures inclusivity and accessibility. The canteen has to be accessible for those with physical disabilities. The canteen has options for people with allergies.
- reduce and eventually stop the use of single-use plastics and PFAS lined paper
o all staff working at working at universities to be internally employed, i.e. under contract with the university itself and not under a subsidiary company.
o Staff (formerly) employed by subsidiary companies receive a new contract with the UvA.
o Full pay and benefits for all PhD students according to CAO
o PhD students who need extra time to finish their work (many do) need to get full pay during the extension period (most get little to nothing for a few months only)
o Take complaints from lecturers seriously
o Adopt demands (current and future) from Casual UvA:
1. Permanent contracts
2. Creation and broad implementation of junior lecturer-researcher positions
3. Address denial of D3 contracts to employees without PhDs
(the symbol "<>" represents probable conflicts; we choose to put conflicting visions in the manifesto to illustrate some of the different visions in our coalition)
o Democratize the elections of the executive/powerful positions at universities <> abolish the executive board
o Meet the demands from previous occupations (2015, 2018 etc.)
o (UvA) Publicly acknowledge that previous demands from dissenting progressive movements (like UvA 2015 occupation, 2016 democratization referendum) have been sabotaged by the high administration of the UvA, mainly the executive board - they were institutionalized, bureaucratized and the committees achieved virtually nothing compared to the original demands
Protests are disruptive, they are not performed in a way that pleases the administration of universities.
o REVOKE PERMANENTLY the procedure to immediately evict liberated spaces ("occupations") at UvA!
o Decriminalize progressive protest and dissent at universities (e.g. no cops called to campus as a pre-emptive measure for demonstrations, protests, occupations)
o We want the Amsterdam Academische Club to be an autonomous space where people can organize around decolonization, democratization and decarbonization
o Autonomous space, we get the keys and use as we see fit 24/7
Stop privatization on campus
Care for lecturers &
Better work conditions
for lecturers and PhDs
Welcome dissent and protest
Power to the people!
Protesting = caring
Amsterdam Academische Club as our autonomous space
Democracy on the terms of the people
o Adopt the demands of AAC’s petition: “No police on campus!”:
1. Don’t allow police to come to any university campus - except for extreme cases of violent crimes with victims, in which police force might help stop an aggressor
2. Stop evicting students from “occupations” or protests
3. Stop calling the police for peaceful protests or for “occupations”
4. Revoke the immediate eviction procedure instated after the 2015 occupation (UvA)
o NEVER call the (riot) police on students and staff who are protesting or occupying/liberating spaces
o Police must not be allowed on campus - they are deployed only to intimidate, stop protest and dissent and protect private property and the status quo. We envision a university that structurally addresses inequality and transformative justice, rather than police violence and carceral justice.
o The university must NOT give protester’s identities to the police or IND. People are exerting their right to protest, the university should not use state repression to stop that - this is especially harmful to non-Europeans and people of color, who get racially profiled and potentially thrown in foreign detention. The executive board has given students identities to the police on multiple occasions (Maagdenhuis 2015, AAC 2023 etc.)
o stop collaborations (research and others) and legitimization of the police and military
- such as funding/offering thesis research on crime and criminal networks prediction - this is highly likely to result in racial profiling and racist prediction. Projects like these should not be offered as CS master thesis, for instance.
Cops OFF campus!
Police = broken bones & crutches
Universities for communities
Anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment universities
o Strengthen the position of lower-class students and staff, improve class awareness and ensure mechanisms are in place to support those with less socio-economic means
o create mentorship and scholarship opportunities for marginalized groups
o Ensure that the mechanisms in place to deal with discrimination and harassment on campus are effective (for example discrimination office), and people don't get fired for exposing discrimination and harassment (like Susanne Täuber at univ. of Groningen)
- Dismantle hierarchies that allow 1-2 supervisors to fire or harass others without punishment (see Susanne Täuber's case)
- Adopt recommendations and methods from people and groups focusing on social safety like Täuber, Academic Parity Movement, UNISAFE project etc.
o Prevent and appropriately respond to cases of sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia etc.
o employ social safety officers for each faculty who are not at high positions who might fear for the image of the department - consider independent parties for this
o Implement the recommendations from the "Let's do Diversity" report* in its entirety
o Firing sexual assaulters/rapist immediately. Zero tolerance to sexual predators, teachers and students, regardless of position, tenure track or other status
All current and future buildings and campuses have to be (made) accessible:
- door buttons reachable and usable / permanently open door for people with (mobility/visual) disabilities
- elevators and levelled entrances
- Guidelines for walking with visual disability from the campus buildings to other buildings and locations like metro, tram stop
- Assistance in classes to students with (visual, hearing etc.) disabilities
o Ensure adequate support for disabled persons. For example: finding housing, writing exams, etc.
o Social groups (including student associations) must be inclusive for people with disabilities
o Get input from students and staff with disabilities and involve them in the whole process (beginning, implementation, feedback)
- the burden of the complaint (process) must not fall on folks with disability, it must be taken my the university
All education of the universities must comply with:
- UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities
- Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek (WHW)
- Wet gelijke bahandeling op grond van handicap en chronische ziekten (WGHB/CZ)
- toegankelijkheidsnorm NEN-ISO 21542
- Universities must not use the 'Hardheidsclausule' to cheat their way out of providing accessible education to their students.
University of Color - Maagdenhuis (occupation) group from 2015
Read here their demands!
*Sources / recommended reading
Let's do Diversity report by Gloria Wekker et al.
Our universities are run like companies. They are managed by non-elected bodies and are not more than a submissive body of the status quo, serving the market and the (corporate) capitalists. We want a university that is run by students and staff, a university that serves communities. That means rankings and profit cannot be priority - we want people’s wellbeing and social justice at the center. We want affordable food and education, accessible spaces and knowledge, good working conditions for lecturers and PhD students, constructive environments for students and communities.
We want the right to protest to be vital in our spaces - people cannot be punished for pointing out what the issues are. We want spaces where we can fight for social justice. We want an END to police presence on campus - they beat people up and prevent us from fighting for our rights. Many of us, in fact, envision the abolition of police and prison systems, exchanging those forms of punishment for investments in communities and their needs. There can be no deep transformation while carceral justice is employed at universities and in society. Police serve the status quo, they have always protected the ruling capitalist class and will continue to do so. COPS OFF CAMPUS!
We want the redistribution of power. The previous occupations (e.g. Maagdenhuis 2015) show us that management of this university cares little for democratic decision-making. The “conceded” demands of the Maagdenhuis occupation were bureaucratized and diluted, leaving out the most radical elements. The same happened with the implementation of the report “Let’s do Diversity”, by Gloria Wekker. The 2016 referendum for democratization was basically ignored. We are not waiting for management to implement deep social changes that go against their interest of concentrated power and “business as usual”. We are effecting change alongside others in the academic community.
End student debt
o Cancel all student debt (for example by lobbying the ministry of education)
o Low and equal tuition fees for all students, also international students
o Full compensation for students who studied during the failed loan system (leenstelsel)
o Increase the proposed basisbeurs to match the actual costs of living, also for international students
o Make public transport free for all students, also international students
Assist in housing issues
Address the student housing crisis:
- increase student social housing, implement rent cap for student rooms, honestly inform international students about their chances of getting a room.
Many of us believe that social challenges should be addressed by tackling inequalities, not by carceral punishment or policing. For example: a person going through a mental health crisis needs support, not police violence and prison; communities facing poverty need investments in basic needs, not surveillance; people stealing because they have no way to provide for their families need their basic needs met, not being beaten by cops; a person seeking abortion needs health care, not imprisonment.
The police historically has developed a role of social control, not of protection. That means keeping people quiet and obedient, not revolting, not striking, and ultimately not fighting the domination of the ruling classes. The origins of the police are deeply connected to the ‘slave patrols’ in the US and in Brazil. They were a tool for colonial domination, as now they are a tool for social control all around the world.
o We need to envision alternatives to carceral justice (policing and prisons) everywhere, including in universities. We need transformative justice, measures that actually address the needs of peoples and communities, so we don’t need to rely on violence to exclude and punish those who don’t have their needs met.