Jerre Mijnarends new confidential advisor for inappropriate behaviour

Utrecht University thinks it is important to have a safe social climate for all students and employees. We treat each other with respect. Nevertheless, students or employees might be approached in a way that is inappropriate to them. Inappropriate behaviour includes, but is not limited to: (sexual) harassment, discrimination, aggression, violence or bullying.Utrecht University has two counsellors for inappropriate behaviour. As an employee or student, you can contact this person for advice and support if you have been approached in an inappropriate way. As of 1 June Jerre Mijnarends has started as a confidential advisor for inappropriate behaviour. Jerre succeeds Frank Peters who has stepped down as of 1 July.

Why did you want to work as a Confidential Advisor for Inappropriate Behaviour?

"I currently work as a student psychologist at the Directorate of Student Education & Research. In my work, I encounter students who have come into contact with the theme of inappropriate behaviour in all sorts of ways. Apart from my work, I have also been a confidential advisor for a student organisation for a number of years and I recognise the added value of the position. I think it is important to contribute to a safe working and learning environment for everyone."

In what kind of situations can employees and students come to you?

"If someone has been subjected to inappropriate behaviour. This includes situations involving bullying, (sexual) harassment, unsafe situations, discrimination, aggression or violence. You can think of unpleasant jokes that are made during a work group or lunch, or if you are shouted at at the university by a colleague or a teacher. And what has been in the news a lot lately is sexually transgressive behaviour. This can range from inappropriate remarks about appearance or clothing to unwanted touching or unwanted sexual contact."

Students and staff members can turn to a confidential advisor for advice and support. The information provided is always treated confidentially. Besides Jerre Mijnarends, Marian Joseph is the other confidential advisor for inappropriate behaviour.

What do you hope to mean for employees and students?

"My hope is that both I and my colleague Marian Joseph are an approachable contact for students and staff members when they encounter situations in which they experience some form of inappropriate behaviour. We lend a listening ear and together we try to find a way to deal with the situation. In doing so, we inform you about the possibilities that exist and, if necessary, we guide you in this process. Our starting point is that we will not do anything with your story unless you explicitly want us to, and you yourself choose what you want to do. We stand beside you and guide you through this."

Have you experienced something unpleasant at Utrecht University? There are several people you can turn to, depending on your situation.

Are you looking for other support? See who you can contact here.