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March 18, 2013 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Building Trust

University Takes Tough Stance on Harrassment

Construction workers on campus have been given a ‘tough love’ approach by the University for harassing female students.

The University has been made aware of two incidents related to construction workers in the past year. One resulted in the workers involved being reprimanded, and the other resulted in a worker’s dismissal from the University site.

University Campus Services Director Jenny Bentley says all building contractors are required to sign an agreement, ensuring that they respect others’ rights and do not behave in an offensive manner.

“Breaching these conditions can result in dismissal from the University site,” she says.

VUWSA President Rory McCourt says the Association has also received complaints from students.

“The University took fast action and the students were taken seriously with no compromise to their privacy.” he said.

“We are very happy with the university’s response to the complaints,” he said.

Salient was unable to obtain an official statement from contractor LT McGuinness before the story went to print.

In Christchurch, earthquake repair contractors working at Canterbury University have also been warned of serious consequences if they harass female students.

The move comes after two students complained they had overheard two construction workers talking about another female student in a “derogatory manner”.

Hawkins Construction—the construction company on campus—said workers who broke the rules would be forced off-site.

All workers were also told to take off their high-visibility vests and helmets when on their lunch breaks to blend in with students and appear less intimidating.

If any student or staff member feels concerned about harassment at Victoria, they are advised to call Campus Security on (04) 463 5398. 


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