Respectful relationships on campus
While there is much to celebrate about college life, a number of high profile reports released recently have highlighted concerns around residential college culture and orientation practices. These include the findings from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) investigation into sexual harassment and assault on Australian university campuses in August 2017. This was closely followed by the Broderick Report on college culture at the University of Sydney in November 2017, and the Red Zone Report detailing data on residential colleges and halls gathered from twelve universities in February 2018.
Importantly, all three tiers of University College leadership: our College Council, our staff leadership team and our student club leaders, welcome the opportunity to reflect on the findings of these reports. Together we are being proactive in the implementation of their recommendations. We are committed to continually improving our practices around prevention in order to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment and assault, and to support those who experience it. We are genuinely committed to ensuring that UC is a place where all students can thrive.
In recent years at UC we have worked purposely to create an environment for our students, and our whole community, where safety and respect is paramount. We have developed policies, processes and education programs around fair treatment, bystander engagement and consent, and have worked to raise awareness of the support services available. Nevertheless, it is clear there is still much work to be done.
To that end, we are also currently working collaboratively with our Student Club Leaders to review student events and activities in order to proactively mitigate key risks that have been highlighted by the above mentioned reports.
By continuing to build on our progress in recent years, we aim to enhance and strengthen our College’s culture so that all students enjoy a deeply fulfilling, safe and enjoyable collegiate education at UC.
– Dr Jennifer McDonald, Head of College