Protesters report it to the police

TU Eindhoven regrets 'pushing and shoving' during climate protest

TU Eindhoven. Foto: Wikipedia
TU/e Eindhoven. Photo: Wikipedia

Earlier this month, climate activists staged a series of sit-ins at several institutions, including UU and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). In the latter, things got out of hand: footage of the incident shows the president of the university's Executive Board, Robert-Jan Smits, helping security guards to clear the room.

Student activists have filed charges against Smits and the security guards (article in Dutch, Ed.). The Executive Board of TU/e writes in a statement: “We obviously do not represent a TU/e in which this behaviour is acceptable. We therefore deeply regret it.”

The statement goes on to say that the university is fully aware of the climate crisis and committed to the energy transition. “Our students in particular keep us on our toes and that’s the way it should be.”

Discussions between the university and the activists are ongoing, which is why the board says last Thursday’s demonstration took them by surprise. However, the demonstration had been announced beforehand.

Rector Magnificus
That particular day was also a special one for TU/e, as the university was bidding farewell to the former rector magnificus and inaugurating his successor. The climate protest started a little earlier, “while the guests were still being received”.

The activists then failed to comply with restrictions set out by the board and proceeded to enter a boardroom and disrupt a meeting. “The pushing and shoving that ensued in the boardroom can be explained from this sequence of events.”