UvA proposal rejected; occupiers remain in Bungehuis

A barricaded protester leans out of the Bungehuis window covered by a scarf (photo: Hanna Daych / NL Times)A barricaded protester leans out of the Bungehuis window covered by a scarf (photo: Hanna Daych / NL Times)

As the student-led occupation of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) humanities department building, the Bungehuis, wrapped up its eleventh day, the occupiers announced their rejection of proposals submitted to them by the university's Executive Board, it was revealed Monday evening. The points of compromise were submitted to De Nieuwe Universiteit (The New University) occupiers at noon on Monday, following an agreement to do so at a four-hour meeting between the two parties at Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan's residence on Sunday.

UvA publication Foliaweb obtained a copy of the proposal hours before the parties attended a second meeting in search of a compromise. The occupiers and the UvA Board met at 4:00 p.m. on Monday at the Mayor's residence to discuss the submitted proposal.

In the proposal, the UvA proposed the organization of a week-long conference in which the occupiers' demands and points of contention are discussed in an open forum. The UvA also suggested holding trial referenda on the policies of various faculties, and committing more time to the reorganization of small language studies.

The conference suggestion was not well received. "We found it to be a good idea, but we want already do that now in the Bungehuis," a Nieuwe Universiteit spokesperson told Het Parool. "A new space was offered so that we can continue our action, but we also do not agree, because the Bungehuis works as a means of pressure," continued the spokesperson, demonstrating no intention to evacuate while negotiations continue.

The meeting was suspended. The UvA Board will now work on assembling a new proposal, before a third meeting at the Mayor's residence. The Mayor will attempt to moderate the discussion between the two sides, Parool reported.

Nevertheless, the "parties involved have to come to a solution by themselves," a spokesperson for the City of Amsterdam told NL Times.

This week's negotiations follow an injunction delivered by an Amsterdam court last Thursday, which ordered the occupiers to either leave the Bungehuis or pay 1,000 euro per person per day that they stay in the building. A spokesperson for the occupiers told NL Times that they are also considering a lawsuit against the university for mismanagement.