University

“The university must look in the mirror”

UCLouvain’s Board of Trustees has taken measures to deal with complaints of harassment and is already putting forward several measures.

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

During Monday’s speeches at UCLouvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, the topic of accusations of harassment was not avoided within the university. UCLouvain Board Chair Jean Hilgers spoke of “legal and moral obligation to treat complaints with the utmost seriousness“He announced certain measures and specified that an independent commission was created under the leadership of Professor Françoise Tulkens to formulate concrete proposals for the prevention and prevention of harassment. The report will be submitted next spring.

And “legal and moral obligation to treat complaints with the utmost seriousness

Representatives of the General Assembly of Students in Louvain (AGL) were quite vitriolic in their speech on Monday night on the subject, wondering when the victims would be heard and believing it was time for UCLouvain to take responsibility. The president of the university’s board of trustees, Jean Hilgers, said for himself that the university was shaken by these allegations of inadequately treated acts of harassment.

Our university needs to 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 so he must find, probably faster than expected, a global answer to these questions, which focuses on the actions of different temporalities. In the short term and with regard to the prerogatives of the social partners, UCLouvain has already objectified certain shortcomings in its activity and adopted a number of corrective measures.“, explained Jean Hilgers.

Measures already taken

He mentioned the “Together” cell, which was strengthened to provide more space for victim support. Specific training and awareness is also available to all students. On this topic, Rector Vincent Blondel confirmed that on this day of return, all students were invited to take this outreach and online training on their Moodle course, representing 40,000 people. And in the coming weeks, more than 1,200 people responsible for the university will be trained. “Our university does not intend to shirk its responsibility. We must put all our energy into collectively finding effective ways to change mentalities and practices“, supported the rector of UCLouvain.

In addition to these immediate measures, an independent commission was established under the leadership of Professor Françoise Tulkens, former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, to formulate proposals to prevent and deal with cases of harassment in operation and administration. universities. His report is announced for next spring.

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