The Antwerp chapter of the Catholic Vlaams Hoogstudentenverbond (KVHV) defends the “right to baptize” in an open letter following the Sanda Dia case. The KVHV itself has been conducting “stylish baptisms and a traditional baptismal cantus” for many years without any offense.
The open letter comes in response to a call by journalist Joel de Ceuler for students to no longer attend baptisms. Saying ‘no’ to all baptismal rituals goes a step further than previous proposals, such as those from Education Minister Ben Waites (N-VA) and the Working Group on Welcome Rituals at the University of Antwerp, which wanted to change the tradition. According to KVHV-Antwerp, this amounts to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” and “an ironclad student culture that served an important function in Flanders has disappeared”.
KVHV-Antwerp acknowledges that rules are needed regarding baptisms, “but they must remain viable for a union”. According to the KVHV, the baptismal charter compiled in various student cities also “destroys” that quality of life by “tightly limiting the baptismal ritual” of the students.
KVHV demands the return of the so-called Green Codex which was earlier used by student unions. “It explains in great detail how such a baptism and the whole academic year in a union should proceed”, it seems. “That’s why Baptism Week at KVHV-Antwerp includes stylish baptismal acts and a traditional baptismal cantus. No trifles, inappropriate behavior or academic lapses: the baptismal walk and cantus each make for a memorable evening.
(translate to tag) Sanda Diya (T) Vishal Gum (T) Higher Education