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We are living in difficult and turbulent times, facing multiple crises at home and abroad. These resonate on our campus and in our large and pluralist community, especially during the last months and weeks when despite many debates and negotiations a sad and violent turn of events affected our campus and community.

As diversity officers of the UvA, both at the central and faculty level, we have witnessed with sadness and despair a shift from peaceful engagement to (internal) intimidation and police violence. While it all started with educational teach-ins, internal dialogues and public demonstrations, we have unfortunately come to a situation where negotiations were halted, where our students and staff have not felt safe and where our classrooms, offices and also public streets were vandalized. We see how our engaged UvA community is showing the importance and added value of Academic Freedom, yet at the same time we see a community that is struggling with its internal pluralism and disagreements.

We want everyone to know that it is completely understandable that tensions are running high. We are facing a crisis that is dividing many people on campus, while we should at the same time not forget that a large group of students and staff is not so engaged with this crisis - perhaps focusing on another one. In this tense situation, we are all struggling with our choice of wording, we struggle with legal aspects, we struggle with morality, we struggle with social safety, and we struggle with all of the more and less nuanced perspectives that live on our campus.

As Diversity Officers we have to be honest: there is no easy solution. There is no world in which we will all suddenly magically agree with one another. There is no reality in which differences in interests and values suddenly align, or where we agree about appropriate actions. But we have to navigate these tensions together.

How can we connect with each other again? How can we find common ground? How can we move forward together? How can we agree about the conditions and principles that guide us in this?

We do not have one answer to that. And probably you, by yourself, do not have an answer to these big questions. But maybe - with all these brilliant people on campus, who all in one way or another aim for a better world - maybe we can work our way forward together, one step at a time. Focusing on us as the UvA community, consisting of some 50.000 students and staff, Central Diversity Office and Faculty Diversity Officers aim to support our community in living, studying and working together.

To work towards this, the Central Diversity Office is now taking the following steps:

  1. Starting Tuesday, 21 May, the CDO will host open office hours between 11:00 and 12:00. We will do this every working day for two weeks. If there is still a need after this two-week period, the office hours will continue. In these hours you can come to us with anything you want. You can join these sessions via this link.
  2. Starting Thursday, 23 May, the CDO will host six Campus Dialogues lunch sessions. These sessions will focus on rebuilding trust and learning how to navigate a difference of opinion on campus. Read more about these Campus Dialogues lunch sessions.
  3. In the upcoming month, we will organise an expert session on these difficult questions. The focus will be a systemic one, not a personal one. More information will follow soon.

We realise none of this will be enough to undo the damage that has been done or the pain that is being felt. But we call on you to join in. Because only together, we can move towards healing.

Organise your own event

Do you have an idea that can address these questions? You can organise your own event with the financial support of the Central Diversity Office. Read more about and apply for Campus Connections Support. You can get up to €1.500 to put your idea into action.

Machiel Keestra, Central Diversity Officer
Claudia Santana, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Law
Barbara Schouten, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Kristine Johanson, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Humanities
Boy Menist, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Science
Inge van der Stap, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Dentistry
Siri Boe-Lillegraven, Faculty Diversity Officer Faculty of Economics and Business


Frequently asked questions

Visit for more information regarding the demonstrations and the current situation on campus.