In February 2016, universities nationwide – including UTas – launched Respect.Now.Always, a campaign aimed towards addressing sexual harassment at both staff and students. In early 2017, The Tasmanian University Union followed suit, launching the #NeverOK campaign.
“This campaign will help build a stronger message of the problem of sexual harassment and assault on campus, and assist in the stamping out of these unwanted acts on students,” TUU President Clark Cooley says.
“We have a duty to respond to calls for more action against sexual harassment and assault on campus.”
Educating students on the practices and policies in order to minimise sexual harassment and assault is one of the initiatives proposed in order to combat harassment in university campuses.
“As students prepare to return to university, particularly students joining us for the first time, it is imperative that they all be aware of the minimum acceptable standards for behaviour,” Mr Cooley says.
The #NeverOK campaign name has its roots from the other side of the world. The University of Exeter, one of UTas’ partner universities in the UK, runs various campaigns including one against sexual harassment. Over time, the NeverOK campaign broadened its scope, eventually becoming a message against all forms of harassment.
“Stopping sexual harassment should be a focus everywhere,” says Maria Daglas, the Campus President of the Student Representative Council – South.
“More people are becoming more open with their experiences and we can see how prevalent it really is.”
A survey conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) revealed that at least 70 per cent of respondents have been a victim of sexual harassment during their time at university.
Students can join #NeverOK and stand against sexual harassment by signing the pledge. #NeverOK will also be running a stall on Clubs and Societies Day (1st of March) where students can learn more about the campaign.
Make the pledge at the TUU website: https://tuu.com.au/neverok/
If this article brings up any issues for you, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit 1800respect.org.au. They are the national sexual assault and domestic family violence counseling service.
If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment on campus, contact Campus Security
– Launceston (03) 6324 3336
– Hobart (03) 6226 7600
– Cradle Coast (03) 6324 3336
– Sydney 0402 696 321
In case of an emergency, call 000