‘Wijnhaven closed due to external threat’
The Wijnhaven building was closed from Friday 13 October to Sunday 15 October due to threats from outside the university. So the ‘heightened security risk’ did not come from within the academic community.
Sebastiaan van Loosbroek
Monday 6 November 2023

That is what Dean Mark Rutgers said during the Humanities Faculty Council meeting on Wednesday in response to questions from council members Arnout van Ree and Elizabeth den Boer.
‘I heard several reasons for the closure,' Den Boer said. ‘One being that it had something to do with a conference. I thought: what should we be afraid of? Who is the target: staff, students, the whole university?’ Van Ree received signals that students felt restricted in their activities. ‘Pro-Palestine events have been organised at Wijnhaven before. It felt to them as if the measure was aimed against them.’
Rutgers: ‘I can absolutely guarantee that was not the case. I happened to be sitting next to the security officer when this happened. There were signals that made it necessary and sensible to close the building, but they had nothing to do with people from our community or conferences.’


He also said the decision to close the building ‘would probably have been less obvious in other circumstances’.
Van Ree mentioned that concern among students in Wijnhaven has only grown since the building opened again: ‘Especially now that the building is open again but LU-Card checks have been introduced without any proper explanation, they wonder if the threat is still present.’
According to Rutgers, the security service ‘always wants to go a step further than we as administrators’. The checks are ‘purely a matter of security and sense of security.