The University’s new sexual assault reporting portal has been facing problems just a day after its launch. Further to problems identified in the original feedback to the University, additional problems have emerged including potentially faulty logins, a lack of staff reporting options and a broken Google link.
USyd SRC President Imogen Grant reported that after logging onto the portal, she was given access to the staff view of the reporting portal and not the student one.
“I have never been a staff member or entered into any contract with the University, so I was completely bewildered.”
Although the issue has since been rectified, after Grant brought it to the attention of the University, Grant believes “it is very unlikely that I am the only student experiencing issues with the portal’s reporting options.”
It was also revealed that the staff portal currently does not allow staff members to make a formal sexual abuse or harassment complaint on their own behalf.
The portal provides users with the option to make a ‘disclosure’ on the behalf of a victim’s behalf, for the purpose of providing data without lodging a formal investigation. But for staff; this is currently the only option available.
Another issue identified by a number of students was that accessing the portal directly from Google directs users to a 404-error page. This issue was also resolved later today after the SRC contacted the University.
USyd co-Women’s Officer Madeline Ward said “the fact that the portal has been malfunctioning in the days since its release proves that it should have never been released in its current form.”
“The issues with the portal are not so insignificant that they may be reviewed in 3 months: they are large, gaping holes in the very design of the technology that needed to be resolved before it was made available to students and staff”
Grant echoed these concerns, accusing the University of “rushing to meet an artificial deadline” and subsequently having “undermined the entire project, neglected meaningful collaboration and placed survivors in a position where they are bearing the brunt of a broken portal.”
The University said that they were aware of the issues and that “every effort is being made to fix the issues as soon as possible.”
“The portal will be updated in the coming months to enable anyone to make a disclosure, including staff.”