Statement: the AUAS is a place to dive deep, debate and connect

23 Nov 2023 11:17 | Communication

Global unrest is on the rise as the armed conflict between Israel and Palestine continues. We hope that the recently declared ceasefire will last and contribute to peacebuilding.

For the sake of humanity

Our thoughts go out to all the victims in Palestine and Israel and to our students and staff who feel connected to them. We are deeply concerned by the immense, ongoing suffering. Violence against innocent civilians is unacceptable and aggression against unarmed people must be condemned, unconditionally. We urgently call for the respectful observance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the International Humanitarian Law which lays out the rules of war.

Freedom, security and equality

We, the AUAS community, are very diverse. We are students and staff hailing from many different provinces – some of us were raised in the polder, some are native Amsterdammers and some are international. We are children of Moluccans, descendants of enslaved people and of plantation owners. We are survivors of the Shoah and the Nakba. Grandchildren of migrant labourers and of the Indo-Dutch diaspora. We are Black. We are white. Some of us migrated, some of us fled as refugees. We carry trauma with us. We are queer, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or staunch atheists. We are conservative, liberal, socialist. We are they, he and she. We live with disabilities. With disadvantages. And we are much more. We are a reflection of society.

We are a university of applied sciences that stands for the freedom, security and equality of all. An organisation that stands for the Dutch constitution and condemns the violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. This applies both within the walls of the AUAS and in the wider world: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The AUAS is a place to dive deep, debate and connect

As a university of applied sciences, we monitor and facilitate independent thinking, critical debate and analysis, and hope that this contributes to solutions and innovative ideas. We encourage our staff to share their expertise with the AUAS community and society, as they play an important role in interpreting national and international developments and conflicts.

We want to facilitate and hold space for meetings organised by students and/or staff focused on diving deep, debating, listening and connecting with one another. Meetings that contribute to boosting our knowledge and mutual understanding based on facts, offering space for different perspectives and engaging with one another with compassion and respect. We are all different and our opinions will differ too. We may also hold opposing beliefs or views. A different opinion can be painful or hurtful. In a highly polarised society, it is necessary to set frameworks together that do justice to freedom of speech and expression while simultaneously ensuring the safety of our community. Every one of us is responsible for that safety. Hate has no place at the AUAS and will not be tolerated in any shape or form. We stand for connection between students and staff.

We are touched by the students and staff who participated in last week's Campus Dialogue session, and are touched by their willingness to be vulnerable by sharing how the war is affecting them.

The AUAS is organising several meetings in the coming weeks that intend to facilitate knowledge sharing and dialogue. We are also looking into ways to do this on an ongoing basis. Keep an eye on the information screens and the MyAUAS intranet for updates.

We are here to help

The AUAS is a university of applied sciences where everyone is welcome and where you should feel at home. We are committed to supporting anyone who is directly, or indirectly, affected by national or international events. We are ready and eager to support our students and staff in this regard. If you are a student looking for information, advice or support you can visit Student Info. Employees are advised to discuss any concerns with their supervisor.

The AUAS Executive Board and Faculty Deans