By Max Fox (VP Gender and Sexuality)
In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Council released its landmark report ‘Change the Course’; a national insight on sexual harassment and assault on university campuses. Approximately 1400 QUT students provided survey responses to the Council, where they reported instances of sexual harassment and assault slightly above the national average. In response to this, QUT has established the Student Sexual Harassment and Assault Working Party, chaired by the Equity Director and with both staff and students comprising its membership to develop an action plan to make our campus safer. The QUT Guild will be working closely with the Working Party as student members as well as independently to ensure the wellbeing of our peers. You’ll be seeing two campaigns on campus in 2019 – the ‘MATE Bystander’ campaign and ‘Be a Better Human’, courtesy of Flinders University Student Association.
QUT has developed and distributed a protocol to staff outlining the process of responding to a student disclosing sexual harassment and assault. This behaviour is not only a crime, but a breach of the Code of Conduct in section E/2.1.4 of QUT’s MOPP. Penalties for breaching the Code of Conduct are severe and can result in temporary exclusion from enrolment or expulsion, amongst a range of other penalties. The QUT Guild encourages students to report sexual assault and harassment to the university where possible.
Some key services you should make yourself familiar with are the emergency help points, the SafeZone app, and the Night Shuttle. From 6pm to 11pm, you can hail a shuttle bus – at Gardens Point, drop off locations include the major train stations and carparks around the CBD. At Kelvin Grove, the route covers the main carparks. (For details of this service, search ‘QUT Night Shuttle’)
Security is on campus 24/7 and responds to over 400 calls a day. At any time, you can call Security to request an escort between buildings on campus, for free, no judgment. The SafeZone app allows you to quickly report an emergency or medical incident, just register with your QUT Student email address. It also features a “check in” function which dispatches security if you fail to check out at your designated time. The Guild strongly recommends you download and register with the SafeZone app. Campus Security is also being trained in mental health crisis response, so you can feel confident that whatever you’re facing, you have highly trained staff here to help.
QUT offers free confidential counselling services, and operates a bulk-billing medical centre at both campuses. These services are LGBTQIA+ friendly, and as with other staff, are being trained to respectfully respond to instances of sexual assault and harassment.
You’ll be seeing regular updates from the Gender and Sexuality portfolio. If you need us to point you in the right direction or want to join a campaign, please get in contact with Max and Jazzy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SECURITY: 3138 5585
FREECALL: 1800 065 585
EMERGENCIES: 3138 8888