Code of Conduct

The Erasmus Student Network Utrecht is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and delivery of any of our projects or activities.


1. Aim of the Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct sets out to ensure that every person feels safe, included and respected during their involvement with ESN Utrecht. We outline our policies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the international students, volunteers and all others affiliated with ESN Utrecht. We make clear our zero-tolerance policy towards any kind of discrimination or threatening behaviour. We reaffirm the importance of our core values, those of unity in diversity, openness, tolerance and respect. We demonstrate our dedication to encouraging diversity among our members and volunteers. We recognise our responsibilities as an international youth organisation and are committed to meeting them in full. An organisational culture that creates a safe environment, embraces equality and values diversity will help us to ensure that everyone feels involved and included in our plans and activities.


2. Persons to whom this Code applies

This Code applies to any individual, organisation or group participating in any activity or meeting of ESN Utrecht and covers conduct at:

  • All paid and open events.
  • All ESN-related online activities.
  • All external representation of ESN Utrecht.
  • All meetings.


3. Discrimination, harassment and violence

ESN Utrecht is an environment which respects and welcomes everyone, and in which no form of bullying, harassment, violence, disrespectful or discriminatory behaviour is tolerated. Our policy extends to, but is not limited by, discrimination on the basis of:

  • Age (specified in 3.1. Minimum Age).
  • Disabilities or impairments of any kind.
  • Education and socio-economic background (specified in 3.2 International Students).
  • Ethics and values, political or religious beliefs.
  • Gender including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • Language and literacy.
  • Physical appearance.
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin (specified in 3.2. International Students).
  • Role or experience within ESN.


3.1. Minimum age 

If alcohol is served at an activity, paid or open, ESN Utrecht reserves the possibility to impose a required minimum age of attendees of 18 years (further clarification in section  4.1. Alcohol).


3.2. International students

Our activities are organized for the international students of higher education institutes located in the city of Utrecht, surrounding area and institutes to which ESN Utrecht is the closest ESN section, unless stated otherwise. This extends to, but is not limited by: exchange students, full-time international students and international interns, unless stated otherwise. Activities can be attended by volunteers of ESN Utrecht. Open events organized by ESN Utrecht can be attended by everyone, this will be specified in the description of an activity.


4. Drugs and alcohol


4.1. Alcohol

Vision and cooperation

ESN Utrecht values the health and safety of all those involved with the organization and to safeguard this during all its activities. ESN Utrecht takes its responsibility to create a safe and inclusive environment at all activities. The facilitation of alcoholic beverages at activities shall always be done in a responsible way and in accordance with the Dutch law. It is expected from all involved with ESN Utrecht to act responsible and safe with regards to the consumption of alcohol.


Availability of alcohol

No one is obliged to drink alcohol and should never feel so. At ESN Utrecht, we do not accept underage drinking. Alcohol cannot be made available for people underage and the consumption of it by people underage is not allowed. In the Netherlands, the legal age to consume alcohol is 18 years old. If an activity takes place in another country, the legal drinking age of that country applies. If alcohol is served during an activity, non-alcoholic beverages will always be available and promoted. Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to an activity is not allowed, unless explicitly stated otherwise. The Executive Board can as well act according to the relevant procedure (7.2.–7.5.) to any violations or irresponsible behaviours regarding alcohol. 


4.2. Drugs

ESN Utrecht has a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs at any of the activities. This applies to the use, possession and distribution of drugs, as well as being under the influence of drugs during activities. The definition of drugs include both ‘soft drugs’ and ‘hard drugs’. The substances that are regarded as soft drugs extend to, but are not limited to: marijuana, hasj, psychedelic truffles and mushrooms, and nitrous oxide. Violation of this section will result in the automatic exclusion for the remainder of the event and possible exclusion from one or more future activities, as described in section 7.1-7.3. 


5. Dangerous objects

It is forbidden to bring any dangerous object to any of the activities. Dangerous objects include, but are not limited to: fire works, fire arms, knives, other sharp objects, or an imitation of any of these objects. The Executive Board of ESN Utrecht determines if an object is dangerous. Violation of this section  will result in the automatic exclusion for the remainder of the event, and additionally, possible exclusion from one or more future activities, as described in section 7.1-7.3. 


6. External parties

ESN Utrecht hosts many of its activities at external locations, which have their own rules and regulations. In case of a conflict between the rules and regulations of the activity’s location and this Code of Conduct, the rules and regulations of the location take precedence. ESN Utrecht will actively avoid locations whose values, rules and/or regulations conflict with this Code. Anyone involved with such activities are obligated to obey the directions, rules and/or regulations expressed by the organising partners of ESN Utrecht, venue staff, security staff or any other authority. Should one not comply with these directions and/or regulations, the relevant authority can act based upon their own rules and regulations. The Executive Board can as well act according to the relevant procedure (7.2.–7.5.). 


7. Behaviours

7.1. Executive Board and the Confidential Advisor

The Executive Board of ESN Utrecht is responsible for ensuring that all parties present are aware of their rights and obligations under this Code of Conduct. In case of witnessing or experiencing any violations of this Code, you should report it to the Executive Board or the Confidential Advisor, provided you feel comfortable doing so. Any violations of the Code of Conduct as stated in 3. Discrimination, harassment and violence shall be acted upon by the Executive Board or the Confidential Advisor of ESN Utrecht according to the relevant procedure (7.2.–7.5.). Any violations of the Code of Conduct as stated in 4. Alcohol and Drugs, or 5. Dangerous Objects shall be acted upon by only the Executive Board according to the relevant procedure (7.2.–7.5.). 

The Confidential Advisor is a member of the Supervisory Board of ESN Utrecht. This person is able to act disconnected from the Executive Board and contact can take place fully confidential and anonymous. If you wish to report violations of the Code confidentially to the Confidential Advisor, you have the option of emailing the Confidential Advisor or submitting an incident report through an online form. Both the email address and the incident report can be found at The submission will be received by the Confidential Advisor. The submission is confidential and you have the right to remain anonymous if preferred.

The Executive Board of ESN Utrecht reserves the right to act upon witnessing a violation in the act or opun a well-founded suspicion, including but not limited to: complaints from participants or ESN Utrecht volunteers, and observations of physical appearance and behaviour. Volunteers of ESN are encouraged to report any violations of this Code to the Executive Board or the Confidential Advisor. Volunteers are not allowed to take disciplinary actions themselves.


7.2. Disciplinary Actions

In the case of witnessing or receiving any complaints the Executive Board or Confidential Advisor are required to take the following steps, based on their best judgement and depending on the severity of the action:

  • Inquire with the victim and/or witness about the violations of the Code that have occurred.
  • Remind one of their obligation to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
  • Engage in a one to one conversation with the offender to make sure that there is an understanding of the reason for the violation.
  • If applicable, ask the offender for an explanation and an apology and/or retraction of the action.
  • Demand the offender to leave from the remainder of the activity.
  • If needed, the Executive Board and/or Supervisory Board can take disciplinary actions in accordance with this Code, the Statutes, and/or Standing orders of ESN Utrecht. This extends to, but is not limited to: exclusion of future events or meetings, temporary exclusion from the organization, or full suspension from the organization.


7.3. Relevant authorities 

If the Executive Board or Confidential Advisor feel at any time that there is a risk of injury to any person, they should contact the relevant authorities if necessary and possible according to the laws of the country.


7.4. Privacy

In order to protect the privacy of the persons affected, all parties involved are expected to remain discrete on the matters that occurred. The Executive Board or Confidential Advisor shall not disclose the identity of an affected individual without consent.