Academic Policy suite changes relating to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Andrea ChesterUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Pease see below information regarding policy changes.

RMIT is committed to the implementation of recommendations of  Change the course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities 2017 and the core principles which underpin the approach to addressing sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Recommendations of the National Report focused on five areas of action:

  • leadership and governance
  • changing attitudes and behaviours
  • university responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment
  • monitoring and evaluation; and residential colleges and university residences.

Findings of the report state that “Universities must take decisive action to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment and improve their responses to these behaviours, to ensure that they are providing students with a safe, supportive learning environment which does not tolerate sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

In response to recommendation 4, in consultation with Safer Community, our existing university policies were reviewed to:

  • identify engagement activities where students may disclose details of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour and
  • require staff to make contact with Safer Community to ensure that students are provided with timely referral to relevant services with mandatory reporting requirements for students under the age of 18.

POLICY AND PROCESS AMENDMENTS

The amendments within the following policies and processes reflect RMIT’S commitment to:

  • providing necessary clarification of the required actions upon disclosures of concerning, threatening and inappropriate behaviours and
  • the need to seek specialised advice from Safer Community, ensuring that students are providing timely referral to relevant services and support.

Approved and noted by Academic Board, November 2018, changes to the following policies and processes are effective immediately:

1 Complaints Resolution Policy – Track Changes

2 Student or third party complaints policy process – Track Changes

3 Student Conduct Policy – Track Changes

4 Student Conduct Policy Process – Track Changes

Assessment Processes – please below change details for ease of reference

Assessment Processes, end Chapter 1, New Section

Responding to student disclosures of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour 
1.52 During engagement with assessment processes such as special consideration, equitable learning plan, academic progress and appeals, a student may choose to disclose details of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour. Disclosures may include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment as described in the Sexual Harassment Policy, sexual assault, stalking, self-harm, bullying, harassment, unlawful discrimination and/or victimisation.

Safer Community provides support and advice to students and staff concerned about concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour. Staff should contact Safer Community for initial advice while maintaining student privacy. Such action will enable staff to respond to the student, providing timely referral to relevant services such as Safer CommunityStudent CounsellingStudents Complaints, and Student Support.  Mandatory reporting and other requirements, including Reportable Conduct Scheme apply to students under the age of 18.

Where there is an immediate risk of harm, seek urgent assistance via
1. Emergency services 000
2. RMIT Urgent Security, or
3. If unsure and needing advice, contact the RMIT Staff line for urgent student
support on 9925 1111.

Program Assessment Boards – Section 6.15.1 Respond to student disclosures of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour in accordance with Assessment – general processes, section 1.52)

Special consideration – Section 4.4.4 Student disclosures of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour in accordance with Assessment – general processes, section 1.52)

Equitable learning plan – Section 4.21.4 Student disclosures of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour in accordance with Assessment – general processes, section 1.52)

Appeals against exclusion – Section 7.20.3 Student disclosures of concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour in accordance with Assessment – general processes, section 1.52)

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