17 February 2020

Coronavirus outbreak calls for solidarity

There have been various reports in the media, both in the Netherlands and abroad, of racist and discriminatory incidents involving people with an Asian appearance as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Recently, there was an incident in Wageningen in which students were the target. Wageningen University & Research is taking the issue very seriously.

Behaviour of this kind is always inappropriate, but it is particularly inappropriate at a time like this, when we need to be united. The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, the distressing situation in China and the concerns some staff and students have about their families back home, call for solidarity and a united front against stereotyping and discrimination.

We are an international community of students and staff. Our university is made up of dozens of different nationalities, including Chinese students and staff. Currently, there are no signs of incidents. But if you, as a student, experience negative behaviour, please report it to your tutor. You can also contact a confidential advisor for inappropriate behaviour, Jeanette van Rees or Frank Peters

If you are a witness to racist behaviour, the university will ask you to make a statement.

And, most importantly, we as a community must offer support to anyone who is affected by this situation.

Anton Pijpers
President of the Executive Board