Contact a confidential adviser
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Choose your own confidential adviser
You are free to contact any of the confidential advisers listed below. The person you choose does not need to be employed by your faculty. You can also call or email to arrange a Zoom or Skype meeting.
Find out more about how confidential advisers can help on our webpage confidential advisers: if you encounter undesirable behaviour.
Arjen Berkvens - coordinating confidential adviser
On 1 April, Arjen Berkvens started as coordinating confidential adviser at UVA. In this new position Arjen will make a contribution to the further expansion and professionalisation of the work of confidential advisers within the UVA.
'I am very motivated to do this work. It is of great importance that an organisation such as a university has a safe working environment. Undesirable behaviour can cause great damage to employees, students and the organisation as a whole. If someone experiences something unpleasant, it must be possible to report it in confidence.'
You can reach Arjen at A.Berkvens@uva.nl.
Dr E. (Eloe) Kingma has served as managing director of the Faculty of Humanities' Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis since 1994.
‘I have been the designated contact person for PhD students at the ASCA research school for many years now. Thanks to that experience, I am well aware that the power imbalances and sense of dependency so many university staff and students experience can lead to sensitive situations. I will be happy to help you deal with any conflicts and hopefully contribute to a more balanced relationship.
As confidential advisers, we also keep the Board and representative advisory bodies informed about any issues in the workplace. I encourage everyone who experiences undesirable behaviour to report it. We need to bring these issues to light so that the Board can restore and build trust by responding in an adequate and transparent manner.’
You can reach Eloe at E.Kingma@uva.nl or +31 (0)20 525 3874.
Professor M.T.C. (Marita) Mathijsen-Verkooijen is emeritus professor of Modern Dutch Literature at the Faculty of Humanities.
'Universities should offer a safe environment for both staff and students. No one should ever have to feel intimidated, discriminated against, threatened or excluded. However, upsetting incidents can still happen. If they do, it's important to seek out help. Our confidential advisers are here to help you find a way out of the situation. You can always turn to them for help, no matter how sensitive your situation may be. Our advisers are bound by confidentiality, so anything you discuss will stay between you and them.
As an emeritus professor (Modern Dutch Literature) with a zero-percent appointment, I believe I'm well positioned to play a valuable role as confidential adviser. I don't have any interests that could conflict with the issues that might come up. Sexual harassment, bullying, aggression and discrimination: I hope I can play my part in ensuring that these forms of undesirable behaviour are never tolerated at the University of Amsterdam.’
You can reach Marita at M.T.C.Mathijsen-Verkooijen@uva.nl or +31 (0)20 525 4723.
Dr Juliette L. Parlevliet is a clinical geriatrician at Amsterdam UMC and the coordinator of OVV-3 Bachelor's in Medicine. She has worked at the Faculty of Medicine for years and studied here herself.
'As a confidential adviser to students of Medicine (BA and MA), my aim is that together we can create an even better learning environment, one where we can hold each other to account about things that went wrong, and one where we are open to feedback on how things can come across. Just talking about a social safety incident with another person can already be very useful. Don’t hesitate to contact me.'
Students of Medicine can reach Juliette at firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 (0)6 50 05 12 29.
Mirjam Koelewijn serves as an official secretary at College and Graduate School of Child Development and Education (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences).
'I want to help create a good, healthy and safe learning and working environment and a pleasant atmosphere at the UvA. I am always happy to listen and offer guidance to any students experiencing undesirable and transgressive behaviour in the workplace or here at the university. Safety, thoroughness and transparency are extremely important to me and are central to my work as a confidential adviser. Having taken several courses in Nonviolent Communication, I have learned to tune in to the other person's feelings and concerns. I can quickly assess a situation and identify someone's feelings and needs. Those skills always come in handy during my work as a confidential adviser. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you are experiencing any form of undesirable behaviour. It's best to contact me by email. Send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.'
You can reach Mirjam at M.G.Koelewijn@uva.nl or 020 525 47 07.
Myrthe van Amstel
In September and October 2023 Myrthe will not be available as a confidential advisor due to a busy work schedule.
Myrthe van Amstel, herself a UvA alumna, has been working at the UvA since 2017 and is currently a policy officer for education at the Faculty of Law. In the past, she has worked as an HR adviser, programme coordinator and teacher/education developer.
As a confidential adviser, she wants to offer colleagues and students an accessible opportunity to address undesirable behaviour. Anyone who is confronted with undesirable behaviour can come to her. Although it can feel like a big step to go to a confidant, Myrthe especially wants to emphasize that this is not the case. She also explicitly invites staff and students from other faculties to approach her. It turns out that a somewhat external view is sometimes pleasant.
No matter how different Myrthe's two functions may be, they have one important thing in common: improving the conditions for all students and staff: 'Every day I am committed to make studying and working at the UvA a little better.
You can reach Myrthe at M.vanAmstel@uva.nl or +31 (0)20 525 6017.
Erik van Arkel
Erik van Arkel serves as operational management coordinator at the Faculty of Law's Public Law department and runs CATREAL.COM, a private company focused on increasing the resilience of people and organisations.
'I think it's important that students can learn in a safe environment and feel comfortable talking to their lecturers if something goes wrong. But I also know that there can be situations where that's difficult or impossible or where the person in question simply doesn't want to. In those cases, it's important to have someone else to confide in. As a confidential adviser, I always make sure to be accessible, open up a dialogue and listen without judging. Next, I try to help the person move forward and resolve the situation. In many cases, people have already tried to solve their own problems before contacting me. That's really not necessary as far as I'm concerned. People should feel free to bring up whatever is bothering them even if they haven't thought it all through yet.’
You can reach Erik at email@example.com or +31 (0)20 525 3451.
Gerrie Veenstra works as a general practitioner and teaches oral medicine at the Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA).
'I was a confidant to many patients during my time as a GP. I have heard a lot of personal stories, and some of my patients clearly didn't live in safe environments. Listening carefully, supporting people and helping them find solutions has always been an important part of my work, both during my time as a general practitioner and in my current role as a confidential adviser. Accessible and trusted. I hope I can help make the ACTA a safer place so that everyone gets to enjoy a pleasant working environment.'
You can reach Gerrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)6 26 29 69 46 (Wednesday, Thursday).
Rixt Polder works as alumni relations project leader at the Alumni Relations Office and University Fund and serves as the University's confidential adviser for students and employees.
'It's important that our students have someone to turn to if they want to discuss their problems without fear of being judged or suffering any consequences. I always try to be as accessible as possible and schedule appointments within two days. I'm a good listener and am always eager to help resolve any difficult situations you might encounter during your studies.'
You can reach Rixt at A.Polder@uva.nl, or +31 (0)6 18 99 49 30.
Belle Jansen has been working as a communications officer at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (Faculty of Science) since 2021 and is also a yoga teacher and freelance copywriter.
'Not sure what to do in - or after - a situation in which you’ve experienced undesirable and undesirable behaviour, such as discrimination, aggression or violence, bullying or sexual harassment? Send me a message if you want to share your experience with me in confidence. Together, we can discuss what you are going through and I can support you in what you need.
Anything you experience as unacceptable behaviour is worth discussing, even if you’re not sure if it meets the definition of undesirable behaviour. It could be about a situation you've witnessed or something you've experienced yourself. As a confidential adviser, I provide you with a safe space to tell your story confidentially and, if you wish, anonymously. Depending on what you need, I can think along with you and guide you in the steps towards a solution.'
You can reach Belle at B.email@example.com or +31 (0)20 525 5512.
Kristien van Lunen
Kristien van Lunen works as a programme coordinator at the Faculty of Science and is also a trained coach.
'I believe that the UvA should be a safe, healthy and pleasant learning and working environment for students and colleagues. If you experience bullying, discrimination, threatening, sexual harassment or any other form of undesirable behaviour, however, it is good if you can talk to someone in confidence. You are most welcome to come and talk to me, I will listen to you without judgement. If you want, I can help you resolve a difficult situation and give you the information you need. If you mail or call me, we can schedule an appointment within two days.'
You can reach Kristien at firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)6 28 95 77 32.
Barbera Rosenhart-Meurs has been working as a coordinator and lecturer in the Master's in Psychology track 'Training and Development' since 2009. She teaches training skills, supervises the student trainers and coordinates the entire track.
'A good atmosphere and nice contacts at work or in a study programme are important in my view, and it's bad if someone feels unsafe here because of undesirable behaviour such as aggression, bullying or harassment or sexual harassment. In such cases, it's important there's someone you can talk to someone in confidence, without immediately ending up in complicated or unwanted procedures. I hope that I can help in a confidential, informal and accessible way by listening to your story and thinking along with you.'
Barbera can be reached at email@example.com.
Sanne Lagziel-de Munck
Sanne Lagziel-de Munck has a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology from the UvA and a Master’s degree in African Studies from the University of Copenhagen. Since 2018 she has been working at the Faculty of Economics and Business. She started at the Education Desk and now works as a study adviser.
'I enjoy offering a sympathetic ear to the people around me and I’m also here for you. Sometimes it can already make such a difference if there is a safe space where you can share your experiences with unwanted behaviour. I’m here to hold that space and listen to you. If you want, we can look into the different ways to address unwanted behaviour and I can help you decide which one suits you best. All in your pace.
The university should be a safe working and studying environment that people enjoy being part of. The moment someone crosses your boundaries, I find it very important you feel you have someone like a confidential adviser to talk to. So I encourage you to reach out and we’ll take it from there.'
Sanne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and +31 (0)20 525 4403.
'A confidential adviser will first and foremost listen to you in all confidentiality and think with you about what can be done in such a situation. The definition of undesirable behaviour is quite broad: it can range from aggression to intimidation, discrimination, sexual harassment and rape. What is key in the definition of undesirable behaviour is that, regardless of the intentions behind it, it is experienced as crossing a line. In such cases, you can approach a confidential adviser to speak about your experiences.
As a young female academic from the Global South, I am aware of the continued necessity for a healthy, safe, and enriching study and work environment. My main motivation is to take on an active role in contributing to this in a caring, empowering way. I’m particularly attentive to how international students might face extra challenges when they encounter undesirable behaviour. Mostly they don’t have the social support networks of friends and family, and not speaking the local language may complicate the processes to seek help beyond the university. It’s my aim to support students to my best ability.'
If you've experienced undesirable behaviour you can reach me at email@example.com. I speak English, Dutch, and Turkish.
Danny studied Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and Contemporary Asian Studies (both UvA). He has been working at Economics and Business since 2019. Since 2021 as study adviser and before that as Admissions Officer.
'I am happy to make myself available to anyone who needs to share their story. With a lot of attention, patience and without judgement, I assist you and guide you in making the most appropriate choice for your situation. You decide what that means and what feels best for you.
In my role as a study adviser, I notice that there are differences between cultures, environments and upbringing that influence how easily a person talks about difficult situations. We should of course embrace and respect that. At the same time, it is important to look at how we can lower or remove the threshold for everyone. Studying should be a time where you feel good, develop yourself and feel empowered. Everyone deserves to be given as much space as possible to achieve that.'
You can reach Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marjan van Schijndel
My name is Marjan van Schijndel. As a lecturer in Dentistry I have been working for years in various educational positions at ACTA. I have also worked in practice as a dentist general practitioner for many years. In both workplaces I have gained a lot of people knowledge and I respect the well-being of everyone. Since 1 March 2023, I have been a confidential adviser at ACTA.
'A safe learning and working environment is the basis for everyone to function with a good feeling. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some cases, people can make things difficult for each other. I would like to make my contribution as a confidential adviser to offer and support people, easily accessible and in confidence; looking for a solution together.'
Marjan can be reached on email@example.com or +31 (0)6 81 38 79 53 (Wed, Thu and Fri)
Joyce Helsloot graduated in the Master's track Training & Development in Psychology at the UvA. Since 2020, she has been working as a study advisor for the Communication Science course. She is also a breathwork coach and therapist in training.
'As a confidential advisor, I am first and foremost there to offer you a listening ear. I would like to help you feel heard and seen, whatever it is. You can contact me for situations that have occurred that no longer make you feel comfortable or safe at the UvA, such as bullying, (sexual) intimidation, discrimination or other undesirable behavior. The conversations we have will be confidential. You are the one who decides whether you want to take further action or not, either way is fine. I am there for you to guide this selection process step by step and providing you with information about the possible steps. It is up to you to make the choice that is right for you and in your own time. I will remain involved if you choose to take further steps. I would like to contribute to a situation in which you feel safe again at work or while studying.'
Joyce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org