The Union Executive is planning to launch a campaign against sexual harassment in the near future to help people understand the issue, and to highlight how common it is in Loughborough.
Hopefully this campaign will lead to less incidents of sexual harassment, but I won’t be holding my breath.
The main focus seems to be inappropriate contact, particularly in the Union. Personally, I would be rather surprised if my friends and I weren’t subject to inappropriate and unwanted contact on a night out, having experienced it throughout my university career.
Unfortunately, it has very much become the norm under the cover of darkness in Fusion. But it seems the Union wants to tackle this problem by encouraging people to report such incidents, which can lead to perpetrators being kicked out of the building.
The primary obstacle seems to be that people know these things happen but don’t bother to report it, perhaps because they don’t realise how serious it is, or maybe just because it would take too long.
There are plans for many Union staff to receive training, including venue staff, security, VP Finance and Commercial Services Rory Mitchell, VP Welfare and Diversity Georgie Court and their successors, as well as an educational video and the usual flurry of posters.
There is a four-figure budget for training and media for the campaign, and along with sanctions against perpetrators, this may at least highlight the problem, but the fact is that most incidents happen under the influence of alcohol.
Although this is no excuse, it does make the problem somewhat more difficult to tackle. I also wonder just how far people will have to go before they are removed from the Union, as one grope will by no means get someone kicked out, but it may make them more aware that their behaviour is inappropriate.
Change would be welcome. Whether it comes to fruition is another question entirely.