Bruises, limps and stretch marks: six Amsterdam student associations found guilty of assault

Everyone leaves their first year orientation with a limp, bruises, and stretch marks, right? Well, no — but you may have if you joined an Amsterdam student association this year.

No less than six student associations in the Dutch capital have been found guilty of causing gross assault and humiliation to first years due to hazing during their orientation.

According to the NOS, the Dutch board of student associations, ASC/AVSV, launched an investigation into the associations after reports of violence — the result? Guilty.

Injuries caused by abuse

After reaching their conclusion, the board explained their decision, stating “These injuries are the result of physical abuse: punches, kicks, and blows in the face.”

And the damage doesn’t stop there, the associations are also guilty of causing psychological harm according to the board. “It is also clear that humiliation leads to a bad psychological state of some aspiring members.”

A known tradition

Dutch student associations are infamous for their often difficult initiation process. This is not the first time that first years have been expected to go above and beyond in order to secure the approval of association members.

READ MORE | Dutch sororities and fraternities: yep, they exist (and are echt bizarre)

Just last week, two first year fraternity members tied the knot for a bit of fun during the orientation week in order to gain sjaarzenpunten (freshman points.) However, the president of their student association claimed this had nothing to do with orientation.

Getting married is one thing, but causing harm to others is not tolerated by the board of student associations. “This has nothing to do with ‘getting acquainted’. It is a miracle that no one has been hospitalised as a result of this action.”

What are your thoughts on Dutch student societies? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Doble.dphoto/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. I know this “tradition” from fraternities in Midwest US. This totally bizarre behaviour was accepted by the whole university.


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