KU Leuven could have done more after the fatal student baptism, where Sanda Dia (20) died. That’s what former Rector Rik Torfs said The World Today on Radio 1.
The students involved were conditionally suspended from the university after the facts, they also had to write a paper and carry out a community service of 30 hours. There is criticism of that light sentence, also from Torfs. “In addition to stricter punishment, which is more in proportion to the facts than what has happened now, the university could have brought civil action,” says the professor. He also thinks there should have been an investigation into racism. “I’m not saying it is, but it should have been investigated.”
In addition, the fatal outcome for Torfs was also a moment to take tough action against student baptisms, to get rid of humiliating rituals and abuse of power for good.
Luc Sels, the current rector of KU Leuven, previously responded in an open letter in De Standaard, in which he writes that it is important to understand the context well.
The Limburg public prosecutor wants 18 members of student club Reuzegom to go to court, to answer for the death of Sanda Dia on December 5, 2018. The prosecution wants them to be prosecuted for, among other things, degrading treatment of the student from Edegem, the administration of harmful substances and accidental killing. In that case, the maximum sentence is 10 years in prison. The council chamber now has to judge the claim.
Dia’s family hired Brussels criminal lawyer Sven Mary. “I only have one word about the criminal file: disgusting”, he said about the matter to our newspaper.