Social Safety Team for students

The university is a place dedicated to growth. Therefore, for students we want a respectful, constructive and caring environment.          

The Social Safety Team is there to promote and support this. As an independent body, they are there for students at the university.

When something isn’t right, you can contact the team. Together you will look at how the situation can be improved. There is always a colleague available to help you.

What is inappropriate behaviour?

What can you do yourself?

In cases of inappropriate behaviour, it is important to take action. Lingering on it for too long can lead to stress and psychological or physical complaints.

In order to stop the undesired behaviour, it is important that you make this behaviour negotiable. The perpetrator may not be aware that they are a nuisance to you. If you feel comfortable with it, you can contact the person exhibiting the undesirable behaviour and point out that this behaviour bothers you. You can also have this conversation together with someone, or contact the confidential advisor. The important thing is that you feel safe and know that support is available.

We regularly use the words 'informal route' and 'formal route'. 
Informal: if you have your own conversation with those involved or together with the social safety team, if you request support from the social safety team or if you make a report to the social safety team. Basically everything except making a formal complaint through the complaints procedure to the Executive Board. 
Formal: make a formal complaint through the complaints procedure. 

In any case, do not carry it around with you, but talk about it.

You can also contact the confidential advisor if you: 
- suspect inappropriate behaviour;
- witness undesirable behaviour;
- are involved in undesirable behaviour;
- if you (think you) have committed inappropriate behaviour;
- if you are being complained about.

What is the role of a confidential advisor?

The confidential advisor will discuss your problem with you in confidentiality. The confidential advisor will listen, advise and explore together how the problem can be solved. Under all circumstances your story will be kept confidential and action will only be taken if you agree. The confidential advisor can also guide you in having conversations with the person you no longer feel safe with, possibly in the presence of their supervisor. The confidential advisor is not a mediator, but a support for the student. The starting point is always your feelings, the fact that you feel intimidated in any way. The confidential advisor will always represent your interests. You can also choose to make a report on your own.

If the informal route does not lead to a solution, it is possible to submit a formal complaint to the Executive Board. The Executive Board has adopted a regulation on reporting and complaint handling of undesirable behaviour that tells you exactly what such a complaint must meet and what the procedure looks like. In addition, the regulation on the joint complaint committee for undesirable behaviour also applies. The Executive Board has set up an independent committee to handle complaints.

The confidential advisor can support you in filing a complaint. It is also possible to file a complaint directly through the Complaints Service Point without the intervention of the confidential advisor.

Read more about reporting undesirable behavior here.

As a defendant you also have the right to a confidential advisor.

What does the confidential advisor not do?

The confidential advisor for students does not act as a mediator, will not intervene in court proceedings and is not out to find truth.

What can the team do for you?

If something is going on at the university and you feel uncomfortable, you can contact the team. How they help you depends on the situation.

  • The confidential adviser can support you when you experience a conflict or unpleasant situation but are not sure what to do. You discuss what is needed to resolve the situation. One solution could be that the confidential adviser supports you in a conversation with the person or people involved.
  • If you just want a listening ear, you can also contact the team. When you try to deal with something on your own, it can feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders. It can help to share what’s going on with others and know you are supported.
  • Explanations about practical matters at the university can be given by the coordinator. If you want to know more about procedures, making a complaint or which person to contact for what, you can go to them for information.
  • Making a report can also be done with the team. When a report is made, a file is opened. If more reports are made over time, these can be used to issue a signal. When a signal is issued, an investigation can be launched.
  • Filing a complaint (or receiving help to file one) is also possible. If you want to file a formal complaint, you must write a letter to the Complaints Committee. The team can explain what is involved and support you in the process.
  • If you are looking for further support but do not know where to start, the team can also help you. Together you will look at what kind of help is appropriate. This can be internal help (an occupational physician or university psychologist) but also external help.
Ivanka Smitsman


Do you want to share your concern, report or complaint with the team? Contact our coordinator Ivanka Smitsmans.

Confidential advisor for students

Maastricht University (UM) does not tolerate any form of undesirable behavior or unequal treatment. UM students who nevertheless encounter undesirable behaviour can contact one of our confidential advisors:

Are you an employee? Contact the employee confidential advisor

Confidential advisers
Wendy Geijen and Romy Beuken
Tessa Fox and Wendy Brandt

Wendy Geijen and Romy Beuken
Bonnefantenstraat 2, room B1.23
6211 KL Maastricht

+31 (0)6 28 03 50 33 (Wendy Geijen)
+31 (0)6 39 58 21 66 (Romy Beuken)

Tessa Fox and Wendy Brandt
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht 
PHS Room C1.020t and PHS Room C1.020

 +31433885361 (Tessa Fox)
+31433883454 (Wendy Brandt)