- Launched 29/01/2023
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Support Non-Binary People at the University of Amsterdam by signing this Open Letter through this petition form!
To the Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam,
Laurens Buijs has taken a hard line in his recent article in Folia by saying that the current culture at the University of Amsterdam leaves no room for criticism. However, the criticism he shares and wishes to share within the UvA contains claims that lack a scientific foundation. Buijs states the following: ''I see the phenomenon of 'non-binary' and the accompanying obsession with 'pronouns' as an empty hype'' (‘’Het verschijnsel ‘non-binair’ en de bijbehorende obsessie met ‘pronouns’ zie ik als een lege hype’’.) A scientific debate about the validity of non-binarity is dismissive and most importantly harmful.
Laurens Buijs is repeatedly using his platform as a social scientist to distribute hateful comments against non-binary people. He does so through social media platforms such as his blog and Twitter, where he said that non-binary does not exist (“non-binair bestaat niet”) and that it is not okay to be non-binary (“non-binair is niet okay”). Laurens Buijs abuses his position as a social scientist to deny the existence of non-binarity and therefore the identities of a group of students and teachers. We do not accept a denial of the lived reality of non-binary people.
Non-binary people identify outside the gender binary (woman & man). It is difficult to be non-binary in a world which is highly structured by the gender binary. Non-binary people at the UvA experience that many lecturers, teachers, employees and students do not know how to create a safe (learning) environment for non-binary people. Without conversations about how to create such environments, it is difficult to build the necessary support. Students who speak out about negative experiences within classes or, for example, state their preferred pronouns often experience negative reactions or discrimination from fellow students and/or teachers. There is a lack of safety for non-binary people at the UvA. Laurens’ claims about non-binary people contribute to such a climate and actively work against the safety of non-binary students at the UvA.
The University of Amsterdam states on their website that they are committed to inclusion and anti-discrimination and want to be a tolerant place where everyone feels at home and respected. To fulfill this promise to non-binary people at the UvA, we ask that the UvA actively positions itself in support of the rights of non-binary people. We ask:
- That students who do not feel comfortable attending classes taught by Laurens should not face any consequences.
- That non-binary people be invited to actively contribute to the conversation about the social-safety of non-binarity at the university.
- That the UvA takes serious steps in implementing policy to ensure the safety and inclusion for non-binary people at the university.
Raisa Mulder (She/Her),
Jet Waterman (They/Them),
Lu Stoisser (They/Them)
Sign this petition if you want to support the cause as a fellow non-binary or ally! <3
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Je docent heeft een andere mening, so what. Wat is deze generatie studenten toch kwetsbaar! Het leven is geen safe space, stel je niet zo aan. Als oud-student weet ik van de heftige discussies bij Geesteswetenschappen, maar we accepteerden andere meningen. De Rode Gardisten van nu cancellen liever. Zwak!
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Why people sign
Ik ondersteun transgenders LGBTQ plus en non binairen in hun identiteit en vind dat ze vrijheid van meningsuiting hebben en gerespecteerd dienen te worden
A safe space at the UvA is really important and statements and the attitude of Laurens Buijs can be dangerous. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but the way you voice it is what makes something a safe space or not.
Onderwijs moet inclusief zijn en Laurens moet de tering krijgen
Because people in a position of power have a responsibility. If they cannot live up to that task, then they should step down. What is UvA doing regarding the comments this person made?
I think that people in positions of such importance as that of a teacher should understand that all walks of life are different and to be respected. If they do not, as is the case here, I believe they should be made aware of this fact forcefully.