An Open Letter to Macquarie University Executive and Chancellery

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Jasmine Noud, on behalf of the Macquarie University Women’s Collective, has formally presented a list of demands to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Kevin Jameson and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Students Leigh Wood in regards to the university’s response to sexual assault and harassment. Noud presented the demands yesterday to a packed room of students and staff attending a consultation event ahead of the Human Rights Commission’s release of sexual violence on campus data on Tuesday 1 August.

At present, 26 of Macquarie University’s student groups have formally endorsed the demands. If you are part of a student group who would like to add their name to the list please contact mqu.woco@gmail.com or message the Macquarie Women Facebook page.

The open letter is as follows.

An Open Letter to Macquarie University Executive and Chancellery

As results come to light from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s survey into Sexual Assault on University Campus, the struggles, stories and concerns of students at Macquarie University and beyond must no longer be ignored. We, as students, stand united to make our voices be heard. ​We demand the university take strong action in order to support students and create a positive culture within our university.

We demand:

1. The provision of a full time specialist trauma-trained counsellor at Campus Wellbeing

2. That reporting systems be survivor-friendly and trauma-informed and, therefore, demand the removal of time limits on reporting and mandatory police reporting. Reporting systems must also be clearly promoted and accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse students and international students.

3. That reporting procedures contain clear disciplinary consequences for offenders.

4. More accurate processing of reports of sexual assault and harassment to ensure that survivors are not required to relive trauma through continual explanations

5. The establishment of compulsory Vicarious Trauma and Responding with Compassion training for all university staff and relevant student representatives. This training should also be extended to anyone else who is in a position where they are likely to receive disclosures of sexual harassment or assault, for example, tutors, caseworkers, university health workers, college staff etc. We demand that this be implemented in Session 1, 2018.

6. The creation of a compulsory online iLearn module on consent and respectful relationships which must be completed to a satisfactory level before a student can enrol or partake in any further units. This should be based on existing evidence-based standards, such as professor Moira Carmody’s ‘Sex and Ethics’ program.

These demands are not unreasonable. They are the minimum that should be expected of Macquarie University to ensure that this university community is safe and comfortable for all.

This list of demands is endorsed by:

Macquarie University Women’s Collective

Macquarie University Queer Collective

Grapeshot Magazine

Vision Generation (VGEN)

MQU Handball Society

MQ Greens

MQ Labor Club

Macquarie University of Computing Students (MACS)

Indigenous Students Association

Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA)

DRAMAC

Shakespeare MQ

United Nations Society

Macquarie University Chess League

Macquarie University Disney Appreciation Society (MacDiz)

Macquarie University Bangladesh Students Association (MUBSA)

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

Women Entering Business (MQUWEB)

Macquarie University Debating Society (MUDS)

Macquarie University Cheerleading Club

Macquarie University Quidditch Club

Macquarie University Gaming and Computing Society

Writers@MQ

Big Lift

Anime MQ

W.A.N.G Club

Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA)

Macquarie Sci-Fi Society

Biology and Environment Society (BAES)

Effective Altruism Macquarie University

Macquarie HR Club


Please email mqu.woco@gmail.com if you would like to endorse the demands on behalf of your student group. A speaker event will be held on Aug 1 on the day of the release of the sexual assault and harassment survey.

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