CW: sexual assault and sexual harassment.
A student was arrested at Fisher Library on 31 August, after allegedly taking inappropriate photos of another student in the premises.
Students have told Honi that the man was reported to have taken upskirting photos of a female student, with library security detaining him before police arrived. He was later charged with one count of intentionally recording intimate images without consent and is expected to appear before the court.
In a statement to all students, Professor Joanne Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), stated that the University of Sydney has a “zero tolerance approach to all instances of sexual misconduct”.
“Our highest priority is providing a safe, respectful, and supportive environment for all of our students and staff,” said Wright.
In a statement to Honi, Iggy Boyd, Women’s Officer, “The Women’s Collective condemns the incident that occurred at Fisher Library. It was disgusting and women, and indeed everyone, should be free from such harassment on campus.
“This incident reflects the policy of the University that treats sexual violence as something to respond to after-the-fact, rather than through preventative measures. We need compulsory, peer-led, University-wide consent training that is holistic, covering affirmative consent as well as bystander training, rape myths and misogynistic, racist, ableist and queer-phobic tropes which contribute to sexual violence on campus.
“Until we have that, the University cannot legitimately claim to have a zero tolerance approach to incidents of sexual misconduct on campus.”
This incident follows the University’s release of the Annual Report on Sexual Misconduct, which revealed that in 2022 there were 121 incidents of sexual misconduct reported to the University. Of these incidents, 23 were complaints, meaning the victim/survivors wanted the University to investigate and take specific action in response.
Of those 23 complaints, only seven were resolved.
Earlier this year, End Rape On Campus wrote an open letter to the Albanese government to “establish an independent oversight and accountability mechanism with a mandate to address sexual violence at universities”.
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