Universiteit Leiden

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Responsible alcohol consumption: 'It's good to pull together'

Anyone in Leiden wanting to join a student association has plenty to choose from. But the risk of alcohol abuse is a very real one. Leiden University, Leiden University of Applied Sciences and dozens of student associations have signed a new alcohol covenant that promises they will do their best to encourage responsible alcohol consumption.

The alcohol covenant was signed on 17 September by Annetje Ottow (President of the Executive Board) and all student associations affiliated with the PKvV (local chamber of associations). The covenant contains agreements on the availability of alcohol and its consumption in an effort to safeguard students’ health and safety.

Provide information and train bar staff

Actions the associations will undertake include providing their members with more information about responsible alcohol consumption, having bar staff take the online course Instructions for Responsible Serving of Alcohol and refusing drunk association members entry to the club premises. Most of the regulations are not in fact new, but now collected neatly in this covenant. It’s a way for the student associations to show that they’re once again committing to the goals.

‘This covenant is a symbol of the good collaboration between the associations, the University and the University of Applied Sciences,’ said the President of the PKvV, Sammy Steenvoorden, just before adding her signature. Ottow confirmed that. ‘By signing this, we’re showing that we want to take care of each other. Responsible alcohol consumption is just one part of the greater theme of safety, which is high on the agenda of the Executive Board. And many thanks to all the student associations for being willing to join us in making an extra effort to make student life even better.’

Pull together

‘It’s important that this covenant exists,’ said Julia Neuteboom of DAC student association, one of the dozens that signed. ‘You can see that students are under a lot of pressure, in particular those who had to study from home this past year. They want to make friends, build up a CV and get good grades. There is a real danger that they will drink too much by way of a release. It’s good that we pull together with other associations to prevent alcohol abuse.’

The collaboration between the University and student associations to make student life safer in Leiden and The Hague extends to other areas, such as preventing sexual misconduct or combating drug abuse.

Main image: the signing of the covenant - front row Annetje Ottow (left) and Sammy Steenvoorden.

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