USC promotes a culture of safety and respect.
USC is committed to ensuring our campuses are safe environments where students, staff and all of the USC community feel welcome and respected. The Respect. Now. Always. campaign raises awareness in the USC community of the role we all have in promoting fairer, safer and respectful campuses.
We all have a right to live free from harassment, assault, bullying and discrimination. Any member of the USC community who has experienced or witnessed any concerning behaviours is encouraged to contact the SafeUSC Specialist Service to seek support or report your concerns.
Our safe campuses commitment in action
In the past five years, we've implemented a range of actions, which include:
- developing the Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Respectful Relationships (Students) - Governing Policy and Procedures,
- reviewing and updating 26 student-related policies,
- updating staff guidelines for supporting students who disclose they have experienced sexual assault and/or sexual harassment,
- establishing the USC Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Taskforce,
- establishing a Safer Community Unit, with SafeUSC and the SafeUSC Specialist Service,
- establishing a single point of contact with specialist-trained staff in the SafeUSC Specialist Service for students seeking support and making reports,
- implementing the Respect at USC training module for all commencing students, creating a shared understanding of consent, bystander intervention and respectful relationships,
- implementing the SafeZone app for emergency responses - the app connects students and staff with the SafeUSC team or emergency services, and
- delivering ongoing First Responder training to staff and student leaders.
USC Sexual Assault and Harassment Action Plan
The USC Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH) Action Plan 2020-22 continues our commitment to safe, respectful campuses based on four key pillars:
The SASH Taskforce, chaired by the PVC (Students) and with student and staff representation from across USC, has responsibility for guiding the implementation of the SASH Action Plan, including decision-making, monitoring and evaluation of actions.
USC initiatives include training and awareness-raising activities, such as promoting consent, respectful relationships, bystander intervention, and student and staff responsibilities to provide a safe learning and working environment.
The SASH Taskforce monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of SASH Action Plan activities and will continue to update actions to address evaluation recommendations.
USC students will be invited to participate in Universities Australia's National Student Safety Survey to be conducted in September and October 2021.
The development of the SASH Action Plan was informed by the recommendations set out in:
- The AHRC Change the Course Report (2017),
- Universities Australia 10-Point Action Plan (2017) in response to the national student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment,
- Code Black's independent review of USC’s policies and pathways for managing sexual harms (2019), and
- TEQSA Good Practice Note: Preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment in the Australian higher education sector (2020).
The SASH Taskforce is responsible for the implementation of the Action Plan, which will be updated progressively, and as other matters become apparent.