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.



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.


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.

Read more about reporting undesirable behaviour here.

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


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


Unsure where to turn? You can always turn to the social safety coordinator for advice, a report or to spar.

The coordinator can also act as a mediator and facilitate a discussion.

If you wish to submit a formal complaint, the coordinator may support you in this. The Executive Board has adopted a regulation on reporting and handling complaints of undesirable behaviour, which tells you exactly what such a complaint must comply with and what the procedure looks like. In addition, the regulation on the joint complaints committee for undesirable behaviour also applies. For the handling of complaints, the Executive Board has established an independent committee for undesirable behaviour.

If you want to submit an objection, appeal or complaint regarding education, read on.

What can the Social Safety 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

Ivanka Smitsmans

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

Confidential advisors 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.

Wendy G

Wendy Geijen
+31 (0)6 28 03 50 33
Bonnefantenstraat 2, room B1.23, Maastricht


Romy Beuken
+31 (0)6 39 58 21 66
Bonnefantenstraat 2, room B1.23, Maastricht


Tessa Fox
+31 (0)43 88 53 61
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, PHS Room C1.020t, Maastricht

Wendy B

Wendy Brandt
+31 (0)43 88 34 54
Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, PHS Room C1.020, Maastricht