Uni takes on consent recommendations
A review has found over 90 per cent of students sexually harassed on campus at the University of Canberra did not report it.
The review by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has found widespread confusion about how to report sexual misconduct.
She found the reason that 93 per cent of students who had been sexually harassed did not report it was usually because they did not believe it was serious enough.
But there was also a significant level of confusion among staff and students about how to report sexual misconduct, with 61 per cent saying they knew nothing or very little about the complaints process.
Over 25 per cent of UC students who completed the Human Rights Commission survey had experienced sexual harassment on campus or while travelling to or from it.
The review made 39 recommendations, including for the university to implement a single, survivor-focused reporting system.
The university says it will take on all of Ms Broderick's recommendations.
“We asked her to give us the way forward, and she's given us the way forward and we've decided to totally walk on it,” University of Canberra vice-chancellor Deep Saini said.
“There are gaps in our system for reporting … she's recommending that we have one-stop reporting, and we are moving immediately to implement that.
“Overall Liz tells us that we're starting from a pretty high base … we're not happy with that. We want to go as far as we can.”
The recommendations include adopting a compulsory online consent training course and face-to-face sexual ethics training for first-year students.
The University of Canberra Student Representative Council (UCSRC) welcomed the report.
“The UCSRC believes that the university has the responsibility to create a safe space for reporting sexual harassment and assault and ensuring that students are aware of how to report and what support resources are available,” the statement said.
“Whilst we are disappointed that a reporting tool has not existed in the past, we are hopeful that this is rectified as a matter of priority.”