Month: March 2017

Recent Guardian articles on sexual harassment in higher education

When we started the blog in July 2016, sparked by the books we discovered in Goldsmiths library, our investigation has led us to many horrifying individual stories and evidence of attempts by Goldsmiths to cover-up disgraceful past events of sexual harassment and assault at the university. Although we had several individuals who came forward with stories of sexual harassment, we ultimately decided it inadvisable to publish these.

Thanks to the work of journalists, particularly at the Guardian, a huge amount more has been uncovered than we had ever expected. A recent article describes sexual harassment at universities as at an “epidemic level.” We are deeply grateful for the thoughtful work which Guardian journalists have put in. It has led to the harrowing unearthing of the inacceptable levels of sexual harassment at universities across the UK. As part of their reporting, figures on recorded cases of staff-on-student and staff-on-staff harassment in the UK, as well as whether universities have a policy on staff-student relationships can be found here. The Guardian’s call out to readers to share their experiences of sexual harassment in universities reveals many stories similar to accounts we received to the blog. These stories illuminate why students or staff members often do not come forward and make official complaints to their institutions. As a result of the Guardian’s education journalism, we have learned a great deal about the situation nationally, which articles such as this one highlight. We very much applaud the  actions of  Professor Carole Mundell, reported by the Guardian, who was a whistleblower in the case of her colleague sexually harassing one of her students.

Although the purpose of this blog was an investigation into events at our own institution, we were aware that this was never a simple case of one “bad egg.”We wholeheartedly welcome the attention this issue has received at a national level. This has largely only become possible through the public pressure created through the press coverage.

We have learned via the Guardian that as a result of their coverage sparking conversations on social media, new allegations dating back to the late 1980s and early 1990s have been brought to the university. We very much hope that these will be dealt with appropriately – that the survivors of sexual harassment at our institution will find justice and that the university will deal with both its past, as well its present procedures for dealing with sexual harassment in a way which genuinely protects the victims.

 

 

 

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