Students push for ‘respect’

Anais Carrington

Story appeared in: Torch | August 8th, 2017

ANAIS Carrington knows harassment first hand.
The 24-year-old student has experienced discrimination while travelling on public transport to study at the Western Sydney University's Bankstown campus.
Responding to the Australian Human Rights Commission's National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment that shows one in five students (21 per cent) were sexually harassed in an Australian university setting in 2016, Ms Carrington said she was not surprised.
Ms Carrington, studying a Bachelor of Psychology, is a member of 'Respect. Now. Always' ambassador program, established by the university to raise awareness about what constitutes sexual assault and harassment and how to report offences. In her role, she has been told many stories of harassment on the Milperra campus.
As a Rainbow Campuses working party member, Ms Carrington has helped to create a series of suggestions for how the university can make the campus environment more welcoming for LGBT people. These suggestions include the introduction of gender neutral bathrooms and social events that enable queer students to get together and make friends.
While commending the university's response to the report by establishing a taskforce, Ms Carrington says more needs to be done.
"We need a targeted approach, particularly when it comes to LGBT communities on campus.
"We need a counselling service tailored around sexual assault and a review of staff policy procedures when a sexual assault is reported."
Ms Carrington is developing an online educational module for students to "create a culture that encourages people to take action when they see something happening".
"In the long term, I hope that we can help to shape our students to be better human beings, and to take personal responsibility for enacting change," she said.

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 129923 | Viewcount: 19153