Last weekend, a young French student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Liege University fell into a coma because she was made to swallow astronomical amounts of water at a student baptism. The university authorities denounced the practice, while students defended their colleagues. Never the twain shall meet…
Bernard Rentier, Rector of the University of Liège is outraged. “The first thing I must say is that this does not happen at my university, since baptism activities are prohibited. Nevertheless, I cannot stop baptisms happening elsewhere, such as the case you are talking about – it happened in the province of Luxembourg, quite beyond our control.
“It is shocking that students who are about to graduate from veterinary medicine do not realize that for someone to drink beyond what he or she can drink is extremely dangerous health-wise. I am very concerned to see people who behave like that leaving with a veterinary degree from the University of Liège. ”
Asked if he always worried that something may go wrong at such events. “I always dreaded it. And I always said I detest unsafe practices at baptisms. I’m not fundamentally against the principle of a form of initiation, the creation of group solidarity, but I think it should be based on values that have nothing to do with beer, vomit and animal blood. There are always students who want to impose this kind of baptism as a condition of being part of the circle. I call that segregation.”
In his official blog, the Rector was at pains to point out that this event was “not organized by a committee” and that “after spending a week in hospital, the young woman’s parents came from Saint-Etienne to join her and she is doing well”.
Tomorrow in Together online, Quentin le Bussy, former president of the AGEL (General Association of Liège students) will put the case for the students.
Source: La Libre Belgique