Head of Campus Security and Emergency Management Simon Hardman is set to resign on 13 March this year after less than three years in the role.
Hardman has previously come under sharp criticism from students on campus over homophobic treatment. Last year Honi obtained documents under freedom of information laws which showed that Campus Security had received a complaint alleging homophobic behaviour, but had failed to investigate the matter.
The complainant messaged the University of Sydney Facebook page alleging that Campus Security confronted two men in a campus bathroom and addressed them saying, “you’re going to be charged faggots.”
Last year, Hardman was also found by a tribunal to be homophobic in his previous job as Superintendent of the Newtown Local Area Command.
In a momentous legal win over the New South Wales Police Force, four gay police officers showed that homophobia “unconsciously or consciously” drove Hardman’s mistreatment of them. As their boss, Hardman had made false complaints about the officers accusing them of taking drugs and having “loose morals”, which resulted in the police officers being the subject of a six month long undercover surveillance operation.
However Hardman’s interaction with the University of Sydney began even before he was employed by the University. In 2013, as the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and students were striking over pay and conditions, Hardman as Newtown Superintendent collaborated with University management against the strikes. The strikes saw well-documented violence from the police. Then Campus Security Manager Morgan Andrews even wrote to Hardman saying, “Let me know when you want a milkshake.”
Students’ Representative Council (SRC) Queer Officers Priya Gupta, Paola Ayre and Oliver Mackie Pawson told Honi “while we are glad that Mr Hardman will no longer be the Head of Security at Sydney University, it is disappointing that he was ever employed, considering his history both as a police officer and allegations of homophobia.”
“While we know that the safety of queer people has never historically been provided from security and enforcement structures, we nevertheless will agitate the University to continually do better and fight homophobia wherever it arises.”