A message for all students

Professor David Lloyd (Vice Chancellor and President, the University of South Australia) & Ms. Grace Dixon (USASA President)

First let us welcome you – new students and those returning for further studies – to your UniSA campus.

You’re on an intellectual journey of discovery that will open your minds and hearts to new ideas, new people and new experiences.

But all students need to know there are some behaviours we do not tolerate.

At UniSA we’re committed to providing a safe and inclusive university community that’s free from sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and sexual assault. We want you to feel safe and supported while you are studying with us and we will do everything in our power to foster an inclusive environment for you.

As many of you would know by now, the national survey by the Human Rights Commission into sexual violence showed that universities and the wider community needed to be working harder to develop models of respect, safety and care in society.

There was further work done around the Universities Australia, Respect. Now. Always. campaign that signalled that all Australian universities have no tolerance for any behaviours that cause harm and fear for students.

Our priorities are to give you the best university experience possible, the best start to your future careers and, hopefully, to instil in you a lifetime love of learning. Anything that jeopardises your safety and security while you are a UniSA student is just not acceptable. 

What we’ve done and what we’re doing:

  • UniSA has created a website which provides a one-stop shop for all resources related to sexual harassment and sexual assault, including policy and procedures, and how to disclose or report sexual assault or sexual harassment.  
  • We have appointed a Counsellor and Training Coordinator (Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment) to provide specialist support to students who have experienced sexual assault.
  • We have delivered training to more than 70 First Responders, who are staff in key roles across the university and can respond to disclosures of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
  • We have rolled out “Consent Matters” training across the university, in relation to sexual ethics of consent, and engaging in language or behavior that could lead to sexual assault or sexual harassment.
  • Further training will be rolled out in 2019, along with a range of strategies and prevention programs to ensure that UniSA has a culture that reflects safety, respect and zero tolerance for sexual assault and sexual harassment.   

USASA supports the University by doing everything it can to reduce the occurrence and impact of sexual assault and harassment within the University Community. Together we have a zero-tolerance approach and urge all students to stand with us against these behaviours.

The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept. USASA has worked alongside the university to improve services and support and will continue working to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

If for any reason you don’t feel safe, there is support in place.

We strive for transparent reporting and disclosure of incidents to ensure that all students are aware of their rights and obligations as part of the UniSA community.

No student should feel anxious or worried about encountering sexual assault or sexual harassment. 

If you, or anyone you know, has experienced harmful behaviour at university, please do not be afraid to seek support and information, through our Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment website.

You can expect to be believed, supported and informed about the choices, options and support services available for you.

Everyone at UniSA wants your university experience to be the time of your life and we will do everything in our power to make it so.

Professor David Lloyd

Vice Chancellor and President

University of South Australia

 

Ms Grace Dixon

President

University of South Australia Student Association