500 signatures reached
To: The University of Melbourne
Zero Tolerance for Zero Action
Enough is enough. It is time the University or Melbourne takes responsibility for the sexual assault and harassment that occurs on its watch.
Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell has said sexual harassment “has no place at our University or in our society”, and has publicly stated a “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment, but when it comes to light and culpability is determined by an independent investigation, what action is taken? In the case of Professor Lopez it would appear the answer is not much. Despite the Vice Chancellor's assurances, a recent UMSU report confirmed there is much to be done by the University, which has yet to follow any of the key recommendations of the Change the Course report of four years ago to improve safety on campus.
The University has been told what it needs to do. Survivors, and students, should not have to wait a single second longer for this University to act.
Why is this important?
We demand the University take action to develop a university-wide action plan that is victim centred and trauma informed:
1. Create a stand-alone sexual assault and harassment policy (including stalking and relationship violence), that is mandated across all UoM departments and affiliates, including residential colleges. This policy should be developed in conjunction with those with lived experience and subject matter experts. It should focus on reporting as a process, rather than a singular decision.
2. Move all reporting and therapeutic services, including anonymous reporting, away from University administrative premises into a stand-alone ‘Health and Wellbeing Centre’. All reporting and therapeutic services should reflect the diversity of the University community.
3. Publish clear guidelines, in multiple languages, about reporting, complaint, investigation, and adjudication processes.
4. Publish clear information about the breadth and diversity of sexual and relationship harms, to promote reporting from as many groups and communities within UoM as possible.
5. Publish annual figures (appropriately anonymised) for reporting, complaint, and adjudication, to promote transparency in decision-making and development of a genuine ‘zero tolerance’ approach.
6. Develop an independent investigative process, including appropriately trained staff, available to all departments and affiliates of UoM.
7. Maintain one investigative process for all complaints, whether student or staff. This should include all graduate students and those on placement with external agencies.
8. Develop alternative justice and resolution processes, with appropriately trained and supported staff, made available across UoM and affiliates.
9. Develop appropriate educational resources, alongside students, to define UoM culture and expectations, and assist students in developing positive relationships.
10. Develop a liaison committee, including representatives from key community agencies and services.