Social Safety Team for students (2024)

Annual report 2023 (will be published soon)
In this first annual report, we, the Social Safety Students team, report on reports, experiences and concerns and provide recommendations for further improvement of Social Safety.

WHAT IS INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR?

WHAT IS INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR?

Inappropriate behaviour takes many forms. What you experience as inappropriate behaviour is up to you. For example, you can think of:

  • Sexual violence: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours or other (non-)verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature.
    Read more about sexual safety.
  • Intimidation/harassment: aform of manipulation in which someone can instil fear in another person by threatening negative consequences, for example physically, verbally or in writing. Intimidation/harassment can take place by someone in a position of power.
  • Aggression and/or violence: incidents in which a student is psychologically or physically harassed, threatened or assaulted, under circ*mstances directly related to study.
  • Bullying: repeated negative behaviour by fellow students or UM employees against which a person cannot (or can no longer) defend themselves. This may be verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour.
  • Discrimination: unequal treatment based on race, nationality, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

It may also be witnessing unwanted behaviour.

WHAT CAN YOU DO YOURSELF?

WHAT CAN YOU DO YOURSELF?

In cases of inappropriate behaviour, it is important to take action. Lingering on it for too long can lead to stress and psychological or physical complaints.

In order to stop the undesired behaviour, it is important that you make this behaviour negotiable. The perpetrator may not be aware that they are a nuisance to you. If you feel comfortable with it, you can contact the person exhibiting the undesirable behaviour and point out that this behaviour bothers you. You can also have this conversation together with someone, or contact the confidential advisor.The important thing is that you feel safe and know that support is available.

We regularly use the words 'informal route' and 'formal route'.
Informal: if you have your own conversation with those involved or together with the social safety team, if you request support from the social safety team or if you make a report to the social safety team. Basically everything except making a formal complaint through the complaints procedure to the Executive Board.
Formal: make a formal complaint through the complaints procedure.

In any case, do not carry it around with you, but talk about it.

You can also contact the Social Safety Team for students if you:
- suspect inappropriate behaviour;
- witness undesirable behaviour;
- are involved in undesirable behaviour;
- if you (think you) have committed inappropriate behaviour;
- if you are being complained about.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A CONFIDENTIAL ADVISOR?

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A CONFIDENTIAL ADVISOR?

The confidential advisor will discuss your problem with you in confidentiality. The confidential advisor will listen, advise and explore together how the problem can be solved. Under all circ*mstances your story will be kept confidential and action will only be taken if you agree. The confidential advisor can also guide you in having conversations with the person you no longer feel safe with, possibly in the presence of their supervisor. The confidential advisor is not a mediator, but a support for the student. The starting point is always your feelings, the fact that you feel intimidated in any way. The confidential advisor will always represent your interests. You can also choose to make a report on your own.

Read more about reporting undesirable behaviour here.

As a defendant you also have the right to a confidential advisor.

What does the confidential advisor not do?
The confidential advisor for students does not act as a mediator, will not intervene in court proceedings and is not out to find truth.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE OMBUDS OFFICER?

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE OMBUDS OFFICER?

The ombuds officer serves as an unbiased and independent discussion partner for UM students. The ombuds officer is easily accessible and can be asked questions related to a specific study-related situation.

The following points are important. The ombuds officer:

  • is independent and neutral and is not an advocate/lawyer;

  • facilitates, but is not a mediator;

  • works under regulations that guarantee confidentiality and secrecy;

  • does not take up matters explicitly assigned elsewhere, for example a study adviser, student dean or the Board of Examiners;

  • provides solicited and unsolicited advice.

The ombuds officer contributes to a socially safe study environment and can bring topics to the attention of the Executive Board and/or make recommendations to the board on patterns, larger trends and developments around social safety or other issues. In doing so, the ombuds officer contributes to increasing the organisation's learning capacity and ensuring a safe study environment.

Furthermore, the ombuds officer can conduct investigations independently and on their own initiative in response to a report. You can ask the ombuds officer to investigate the conduct of Maastricht University in a particular matter. You can do so in writing by clearly describing the request and sending it per letter or email to claire.essers@maastrichtuniversity.nl. She will inform you whether or not she has the authority to conduct an investigation or will explain why no investigation will be conducted.

Regulations for the position of ombuds officer
Statute on the position of ombuds officer

WHAT DOES THE COORDINATOR DO?

WHAT DOES THE COORDINATOR DO?

The coordinator of the Student Social Safety Team is there for anyone who needs information, or wants to ask, report or talk about social safety for students. You can contact her with a question, report or complaint about undesirable behaviour. Also if you are unsure about a situation or do not know who to turn to.

The coordinator can support you with advice, or refer you to the right colleague within UM or to an external organisation.

The coordinator registers notifications (in consultation with you and anonymously) to gain a better idea of what is going on within UM in the field of social safety. This way, we also try to structurally improve social safety at UM.

Together with you, the coordinator can see if - and what - steps can be taken to improve the situation. This starts with talking about it.

The coordinator is an extra option at UM to talk about undesirable behaviour or report something in an accessible way, in addition to the existing facilities such as the confidential advisors in the Student Social Safety Team, the UM student psychologists or the possibilities within your own faculty.

Unsure where to turn? You can always turn to the social safety coordinator for advice, a report or to spar.

The coordinator can also act as a mediator and facilitate a discussion.

If you wish to submit a formal complaint, the coordinator may support you in this. The Executive Board has adopted a regulation on reporting and handling complaints of undesirable behaviour, which tells you exactly what such a complaint must comply with and what the procedure looks like. In addition, the regulation on the joint complaints committee for undesirable behaviour also applies. For the handling of complaints, the Executive Board has established an independent committee for undesirable behaviour.

If you want to submit an objection, appeal or complaint regarding education, read on.

UNAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR - EXTERNAL HELP

  • WHAT IS INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR?
  • WHAT CAN YOU DO YOURSELF?
  • WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A CONFIDENTIAL ADVISOR?
  • WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE OMBUDS OFFICER?
  • WHAT DOES THE COORDINATOR DO?
  • UNAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR - EXTERNAL HELP

Who is on the Social Safety Students team?

Social Safety Team for students (1)


Ivanka Smitsmans, coordinator

Monday and Friday: 9.00 - 15.00 / Tuesday and Thursday: 9.00 - 17.00
Please, call or mail or app to make an appointment

ivanka.smitsmans@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)6 39 54 26 62
Kapoenstraat 2, room 2.034, Maastricht
Sint Servaasklooster 39, Maastricht

What does the coordinator do?

Social Safety Team for students (2)


Wendy Geijen, confidential advisor

confidentialadvisor@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)6 28 03 50 33
Bonnefantenstraat 2, room B1.23, Maastricht

What is the role of a confidential advisor?

Social Safety Team for students (3)

Romy Beuken,confidential advisor

confidentialadvisor@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)6 39 58 21 66
Bonnefantenstraat 2, room B1.33, Maastricht

What is the role of a confidential advisor?

Social Safety Team for students (4)

Tessa Fox,confidential advisor

confidentialadvisor@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)43 88 53 61
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1,PHS room C2.014, Maastricht


What is the role of a confidential advisor?

Social Safety Team for students (5)

Wendy Brandt,confidential advisor

confidentialadvisor@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)43 88 34 54
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1,PHS room C2.016, Maastricht


What is the role of a confidential advisor?

Social Safety Team for students (6)

Claire Essers, ombuds officer

claire.essers@maastrichtuniversity.nl
+31 (0)6 40 77 63 09
Kapoenstraat 2, room 2.028, Maastricht


What is the role of the ombuds officer?

Social Safety Team for students (2024)
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