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Campus Update: 29 April 2016

Campus Update

Today a peaceful march by concerned students took place on campus. This was a march to express concerns about safety on campus and sexual

violence. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support met with the students to engage with them.

 They presented the following requests: A formal meeting with the DVC: SDS today at 5pm at Colin Williams Residence. The University should not proceed with any interdicts for the todays march. A mass meeting to be held on Tuesday at 13:00.

The University has policies, relevant structures, guidelines and implementation strategies in place to assist students who have been sexually harassed or raped.

Regrettably, on Tuesday we were apprised of an alleged sexual assault that took place on Sunday 24 April 2016 between two acquaintances. The matter was reported to the police and investigation is underway.

However, the university has instituted its own internal processes. A Vice-Rector tribunal has already been conducted and the alleged perpetrator has since been suspended and band from campus pending internal investigation. The University recognises the role played by the Gender Equity Office, ResLife, and Centre for Student Support Services in providing support to the student during her difficult time- and will continue to do so.

The university supports calls for dialogue on the safety on campus. The DVC SDS has agreed to meet with the students this afternoon at 5pmFurther meetings will be held on Tuesday to discuss effective ways to improve the safety of all our students, especially our female students.

The Rector has reiterated his total commitment to ensuring that our University is a safe space where our female students in particular can feel safe to live and learn.

This is the first case of its kind at UWC this year and it is deeply traumatising. The University of the Western Cape condemns rape, sexual abuse/harassment and any form of violence. UWC exercises zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment and sexual abuse and will pursue all means necessary to intervene decisively should any of these acts occur.

Emergency numbers

Campus Protection services - 021 959 3777
Centre for Student support services - 021 959 2999
Campus Health - 021 959 2876
Gender Equity Office - 021959 2813/12
South African Police Services - 021 950 1300
Issued by the office of the DVC: Student Development and Support