Norms and Values

At the end of academic year 2021-2022, from the VKV representation in the Social Council, the idea arose to develop a charter providing a framework for norms and values in student life. A nice idea started by the current challenges around student welfare: (sexually) transgressing behaviour, alcohol problems, inclusion... All in all: social difficulties within student life, in which the student associations can and want to play an essential role. From the need of the associations, the starting signal was given to organise a conference of norms and values. In collaboration between the FaculteitenKonvent, SeniorenKonvent and Home Konvent and with the support of the Student Activities Office. conference of norms and values In collaboration between the FaculteitenKonvent, SeniorenKonvent and Home Konvent with the support of the Student Activities Office the first steps for the organisation of the conference were made.

As societies, we stand ready to embrace and protect the values and norms in student life because the welfare of every student is our top priority.

In cooperation with the university

From UGent, there are 3 general goals: prevention, remediation and sanctioning. As of academic year 2023-2024, 3 training courses on prevention will be offered by UGent. First, a train the trainer will be provided for key figures in student life. From this train the trainer and the knowledge they have acquired, they will be able to give training on transgressive behaviour to the board members of recognised student associations at the beginning of the semester. In this way, the associations acquire the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with incidents of (sexually) transgressive behaviour and/or to refer them on if necessary. On top of that, we also increase the focus on student welfare. Students show very little help-seeking behaviour when they experience support needs. Early detection is therefore essential. With the WeCare project, we increase the knowledge of the entire UGent community (staff and students) on student welfare and referral channels so that students get the right help as quickly as possible when needed.

Practical Support

Every association can call on a toolbox for sensitisation (namely before the start of an activity) and remediation. The toolbox will be further refined in cooperation with the city of Ghent. Specifically for sensitisation, there would be a focus on organising events where student associations can use a checklist to find out how they can guarantee a safe space during their event. For remediation, specific tools are provided for aftercare and discipline, among other things.

Toolbox

Looking for extra support to organise your event smoothly and ensure the safety of participants? Discover our toolbox with good pratices on cross-border behaviour when organising events here.

Flowchart transgressive behaviour observation

Flowchart

Discover the flow chart here, specially designed to provide a clear overview of the steps you can take when (sexually) transgressive behaviour occurs within your association. Remember, this flow chart is a valuable tool, but you are not alone! Do not hesitate to contact your konvent or student administrator for support and advice in case of any problems.

Flowchart transgressive behaviour observation Flowchart transgressive behaviour presence

Mission and Target

In our rapidly changing society, it remains crucial to pay attention to challenges such as alcohol issues, student welfare, (sexually) transgressive behaviour, inclusiveness and sustainability. As associations, we stand ready to embrace and protect the values and norms in student life because the well-being of every student is our top priority.

Spiking

Following a recent meeting with the UGent prevention service about the growing problem of spiking, we would like to inform and support student associations in dealing with such incidents. Below, the most important information can be found, divided into three sections: preventive measures, what to do during an incident, and follow-up after an incident. Finally, contact points are provided.

Preventive measures

Prevention is essential to avoid spiking incidents as much as possible. Here are some steps associations can take:

  • Awareness: Organize awareness in your student union to make members aware of the dangers of spiking and its signs. For example, this can be addressed at an activity, or it can be discussed within organizing an activity such as a party.
  • Safety guidelines: Implement and share guidelines with the organizing praesidia. Information and materials are available on the websites of the Flemish Government and the VAD (Flemish Association for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems).
  • Training and workshops: Participate in workshops led by the IDDPW and others to educate (praesidium) members on spiking awareness and prevention.
  • Responsible serving of alcohol: Train organizing (praesidium) members to serve alcohol responsibly, and be alert for signs of intoxication or spiking. Free online training is available through VAD.

What to do in the event of an incident?

It is critical to act quickly and effectively:

  • On Ghent University property: Call the security department immediately and seek help if needed. The security officers in the security department are trained to respond quickly and take appropriate action.
  • On private property: Inform bar owners and other relevant parties of the situation. They need to know how to assess a situation and how to act appropriately.
  • Safety first: Take the affected person to a safe place away from crowds, and have a friend or trusted contact stay with them.
  • Emergency services: Call an ambulance for medical emergencies, and contact the police for suspected spiking after consulting with the person involved.

Follow-up after an incident

After an incident, it is important to ensure proper follow-up:

  • Inform police: Always report the incident to the police so that all relevant information is available.
  • Collaboration: Work closely with the konvent/DSA to ensure effective communication and campaigning.
  • Workshops and GOG sessions: Attend workshops such as the Student Bootcamp or GOG sessions for information and preparation for possible incidents.

Contacts

For questions, assistance or to report an incident, please contact the following departments:

Through these measures and recommendations, we hope that associations will be better prepared for spiking incidents and effectively address this problem. We encourage all associations to disseminate this information and actively participate in prevention and awareness activities.