Confidential Counsellor - independent and strictly confidential

Confidential Counsellor for Students

If you, as a student, are faced with undesirable or transgressive behaviour, you can contact the confidential counsellor for students, even - or especially - if you are in doubt.

The confidential counsellor advises and guides you in the possible steps you can take. For example, they can help you to talk about your experience with the 'other party'. In any case, you remain in control! They work independently and everything you discuss is confidential.

What is unacceptable behaviour?

Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour that you find such a hindrance that it has a harmful effect on your studies. Nobody but you defines what you regard as unacceptable!

Discrimination, bullying, (sexual) harassment, threats, stalking and gossiping, both online and offline, are all types of unacceptable behaviour. Even if very subtle, it can still have a great impact on your feeling of safety and your pleasure in studying. It can even cause stress and psychological or physical complaints. Please don’t keep it to yourself but talk about it.

Some examples

  • You receive intrusive messages from a fellow student;
  • You experience racism or discrimination;
  • A lecturer pays you more than average attention;
  • You pick up sexual innuendos or jokes, or people touch you without reason, put their hands on you, or block your path;
  • Your fellow students ignore you, or you are always given the most unpleasant tasks in a group assignment;
  • You feel uncomfortable about being involved in gossip about a fellow student, a teacher, an adviser or other people you are in contact with during your study;
  • You feel that fellow students or other people are not
    taking you seriously.

You can also contact the confidential counsellor if you have witnessed unwanted behaviour directed at someone else.

What can the confidential counsellor do for you?

Anke van Oostveen, Sabah Nhass and Klaartje Thierry are confidential counsellors for students at WUR. How can they support you?

  • They offer a sympathetic ear;
  • Support if you experience unwanted or transgressive behaviour;
  • Searching for solutions together in dialogue;
  • Discussing possible steps;
  • Guiding when you wish;
  • Referring to (in- and external) support agencies;
  • The confidential counsellor works and in strict confidence.
    Important to know: You are always in control!

What can you do yourself?

It is allways a good idea to first discuss undesirable behavior with the other person. They may not be aware of the effect their behavior is having on you. You can tell them that you experience their behavior as unwanted, hurtful or even threatening.

You can also discuss it with someone you trust, a teacher, study advisor or friend. If this does not solve anything, or if it is not possible, for example because the behavior is too serious, please contact a confidential counsellor.

Who are the confidential counsellors for students?

As independent confidants, we help you look at the situation from a distance. We listen to your story, think along and explore your options with their pros and cons. We look at how you can improve the situation or what other actions you can take. This offers you the freedom to decide for yourself whether, and if so which steps you want to take. We guide you on your way to a solution.

Anke van Oostveen

Anke van Oostveen -  vertrouwenspersoon voor studenten

Let's talk about what isn't said

You can talk to me about every form of behavior of fellow students, employees and teachers of WUR that you find unpleasant. Together we look for a solution.

Trained as an HR advisor, confidential adviser, career counselor and team trainer, I work from my own company and Werk in Vertrouwen for a number of organizations as a trainer, career- and organisational adviser, external confidential adviser and complaints officer.

I like sports in the woods and reading and writing. I live togethers with my husband, children and a dog.

Sabah Nhass

Sabah Nhass | Confidential Counsellor | Students

Silence holds a situation captive,
talking liberates

I create a confidential atmosphere - without judgment - where you can freely share your story. I am ready to support students, with the primary goal of creating a safe and inclusive study environment.

I have over twenty years of experience in mental health care, which is valuable baggage in my role as a confidential advisor. I approach issues from a broad perspective and quickly get to the core. With empathy, I establish a deeper connection.

Due to my ethnic-cultural background, I can work with sensitivity to diversity. I pay close attention to the needs, desires, and possibilities of students from various backgrounds.

Important to me is cherishing my family, expressing my creativity, and enjoying nature. I have a wonderful 14-year-old son who comes from two different cultures.

Klaartje Thierry

Klaartje Thierry - vertrouwenspersoon voor studenten

You can't always influence what happens to you, but you can decide how you deal with it.

Knock on my door if you don't know what to do anymore in situations that you experience as transgressive. Together we discuss what is bothering you, why it affects you and what solutions are available.

I studied Industrial- and Organisational Psychology at Utrecht University. Since 2000 I have been active as an management consultant, coach, trainer and selection psychologist. For Werk in Vertrouwen I work as an external confidential adviser for several companies and educational institutions.

I love spending my time with my family, friends and sports. Our two children who are studying bring me close to the target group of the WUR. I live with my husband and our youngest, a high school student, in the middle of the country.