Campaigners across the world have brought the issue of sexual misconduct into the spotlight in recent years and it has become apparent that it is a problem everywhere, including at Imperial. In an institutional culture report about Imperial from 2016, researchers found that: “Despite Imperial’s ‘no tolerance’ stance on harassment and bullying (…) women in particular reported being silenced in various ways.”
Imperial College London is currently reviewing their policy for how sexual misconduct is dealt with in a designated working group, after having sought advice and recommendations from an external expert - a commendable step. However, there are no permanent members of this working group who are students or sabbatical officers, and this limits student input.
In November 2017, Felix brought an article that, among other things, highlighted that a person had been found in breach of Imperial’s sexual misconduct policy but was allowed to remain in a position of responsibility within a society. The Union’s policy has since been changed (by us), with >95% of Union Council voting in favour of the rule changes. However, despite vigilant efforts, it was only in January 2019 that the new by-law clauses were finalised, 14 months after the issue was initially raised. We must find a solution to prevent these delays.
We believe Imperial should have a campaign group dedicated entirely to raising awareness and ensuring that the student voice is heard on this important issue, while making the path from idea to action easier - something that is clearly needed.
That’s why we’re starting PAARRY: Political Action Against Rape Required Yesterday. In case you’re wondering about the name, it’s a play on words: parry is a term from fencing which means “to ward off an attack with a countermove”.
We want to: - Arrange events across Imperial to decrease prevalence and increase awareness of sexual misconduct on campus. - Ensure that the College’s new disciplinary framework has the students’ best interest in mind, by creating a forum for students to discuss it and collectively campaign for changes. - Influence the adaptation of the College’s new framework into the Union. - Get involved in the nation-wide debate.
In order for the idea to become recognised as an official Imperial Campaign group we need your support! if you agree with our message please show your support by signing up on the Union website or by using the QR code below.