Media release: GSA condemns SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Tuesday 29 September 2020
The University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association (GSA) is deeply concerned about an article that appeared in ABC News in relation to yet another case of sexual misconduct of a former employee of the University of Melbourne. The story can be seen here.
GSA is disappointed in the processes followed by the University of Melbourne in relation to this matter. The occurrence of sexual assault and misconduct committed by University community members, particularly by staff members in significant positions of power, is deeply disturbing. GSA condemns and condones any form of violence and misconduct on the campus.
The University of Melbourne has responded to results of the Australian Human Rights Commission survey into sexual assault and sexual harassment with the establishment of the Respect Taskforce. The University must act to prevent sexual assault and harassment in its community and to support survivors. GSA looks forward to working with the University to improve practices, including through the Respect Taskforce.
GSA welcomed Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell’s response to the incident and applauds his commitment to building a culture of safety and respect for all. GSA appreciates the clear message he holds in relation to no tolerance for either sexual assault or sexual harassment within the University community. GSA’s Women’s Officer Catherine Allingham adds – “However, this alone is not enough. The University must do better to ensure community members can learn and work in safety. The time for action is now.”
GSA makes the following recommendations to the University:
- Ensure due processes are followed to stamp out sexual misconduct out from the Universities.
- Increase funding and resources for programs to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment within the University community.
- Increase funding and resources to support survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
- Provide a sexual assault and harassment policy.
GSA unequivocally stands with survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment.