KNUST orients students on sexual harassment – URO

The University Relations Officer of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Daniel Bekoe says no act of sexual misconduct has come to the attention of authorities, though there are reporting structures for victims.

Dr. Bekoe said the university has an anti-sexual harassment policy which came into effect last year although an “ethical framework” has been in existence for years.

This statement by the KNUST Relations Officer comes after the BBC Africa Eye’s ‘Sex For Grades’ documentary indicted some lecturers from the University of Ghana and University of Lagos in a sexual harassment exposé.

The University of Ghana has since come under serious scrutiny since the release of the documentary.

Explaining how KNUST handles sexual harrassment, Dr Bekoe said, its anti-sexual harassment policy addresses “the concerns of the students, student to student harassment, student to lecturer sexual harassment and then even staff to staff sexual harassment issue.”

He explained to LUV FM’s David Akuetteh, that the university has appointed counsellors at the university level and at the various colleges and also at the halls of residence.

He added that there are counsellors and therefore students are encouraged during orientation to understand some of these things [sexual harassment on campus] and to abreast themselves with the regulation with anti-sexual harassment on campus and be able to report when these things happen.

According to him, “If somebody feels harassed, the first thing is to report it. And there are clear procedures for reporting such matters.”

“Last year, for instance, we got an allegation by one of the students that she is being harassed by somebody.”

“But when management approached this student to present report and evidence, she couldn’t do so. So, in that case, the university cannot do anything,” he said.

Dr Bekoe said that in dealing with a claim made by a victim of sexual harassment the university will look for, “evidence either in the form of written, or evidence in terms of text messages, or any other evidence that can back the claim.”

To report the claim, Dr Bekoe said, “we have the university anti-sexual harassment advisor. Quite apart from that, the Dean of Students’ office is there, the head of departments, the deans of the various faculties; all these people in our policy are to be first points of call.”

“And, therefore, if you have of any of this harassment going on, these are the people to talk to. And then once you talk to them, the various processes will be activated.”

 

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Source: Myjoyonline.com

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