The findings and recommendations of this external report will be influential in designing the future of AMFI and we welcome this report. Be as it may, we are concerned by the current internal mechanisms at AMFI. So far AMFI has not admitted guilt and we believe AMFI cannot move forward until failure is wholeheartedly embraced. No amount of internal taskforces or empty words can fix this. In fact, we view these internal taskforces as examples of kangaroo courts; one in which AMFI is “jumping over” (intentionally ignoring) evidence that would be in favour of the student. This is not fair.
An example: Before the Bezemer & Schubad report has even been published, AMFI has already decided that “focus here lies on perception and not on establishing the truth” (perceptieonderzoek). In this declaration, it is clear to us that AMFI and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam are fearful of the report and its contents. Their legal teams have been working hard to curtail liability and market everything as being a mere ‘perception’. This is disappointing and contradictory to any institution which declares itself it be transparent and proactive in tackling abuse. Furthermore, it is an insult to call the abuse of students and their experiences as being ‘perceptions’.
In other news, the Inspectorate of Education received 100 reports from AMFI students. As a result, the Ministry has announced a formal investigation of all art, design and fashion courses in the Netherlands. Currently, AMFI is the flagship of toxic environments and will mostly likely play a significant role in the inspectorate’s investigation. ASVA Student Union is ready to assist throughout.