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USP has new policy on sexual harassment, bullying and child protection after student alleged she was sexually harassed

USP has new policy on sexual harassment, bullying and child protection after student alleged she was sexually harassed

By Vijay Narayan and Priteshni Nand
Thursday 19/09/2019

The University of the South Pacific now has a new policy on sexual harassment, bullying and child protection and it has to go through the staff policy to be approved after a student alleged that she was sexually harassed by a university member a year ago.

The student raised her concern in the Vice Chancellor’s Students Forum that it has been one year since the complaint was lodged but there has been no official update given to her.

USP’s Dean of Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate says the university wants to educate the community and there is a lot of awareness that needs to be done about sexual harassment as cultural values and sensitivity sometimes contradicts with the very thing they are trying to protect.

While responding to the question, Professor Pal Ahluwalia says the university is looking into the appeals committee and will make some recommendations about that, the whistleblowing policy and the hotline is being set up where students can raise their questions.

Ahluwalia says he and his colleagues at the university do not condone any of the practices relating to sexual harassment.

Dean of Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, Dr. Anjeela Jokhan suggested that the Vice Chancellor needs to get involved and the matter needs to be addressed.

The student says its one thing to say that the university does not condone cases of sexual harassment in the campus and it’s totally another thing when institutions do not know how to deal with cases of such nature.

Vice Chancellor Ahluwalia says he will look into this issue.

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