From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Prof. Charles Igwe, the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has urged students and staff of the institution to report cases of sexual harassment, violence and exploitation to the school authorities.
Igwe said this in Nsukka on Friday, during the official flag-off of Campus-Campaign Against Sexual Harassment (C-CASH), an organisation of lecturers and students who are campaigning against Sexual Harassment in campus.
He said that sexual harassment is a cankerworm which every one should join hand to eliminate, adding that UNN under his administration has zero tolerance for any form of sexual harassment on students and staff from the opposite sex.
“UNN under my watch abhor any form of sexual harassment, it is a societal ill which every one must join the fight against it.
“It’s your duty to report any staff, student or lecturer to the school authority who harass you sexual in the campus.
“We have put machineries in motion to punish and sanction offenders, as well as created student friendly center where student can get counselings and share the challenges the are facing in campus,” he said.
The VC who was represented in the occasion by Prof. Pat Opoko, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, however, warned students against dressing half naked to class and lecturers offices in order not to attract negative attention to themselves.
Speaking, Prof. Sabinus Ofoefule the director of UNN SERVICOM said that the relationship of students and lecturers should have boundary because too much familiarity leads to sexual harassment.
He identified two major effects of sexual harassment as depression and insecurity.
“I advised lecturers and students to ensure that there is a boundary in their relationship.
“A lecturer most know that he or she a lecturer and the student must also know that he or she is a student.
“SERVICOM will always investigative reports of sexual harassment and follow it to its logical conclusion, and anyone found guilty must be sanctioned accordingly,” he said.
He however, cautioned female studentsto be wary of their dressing always as such provocative dressing at times leads to sexual harassment.
Also speaking, Prof. Anthonia Achike the director Gender and Development Policy Centre, UNN said that the campaign against sexual harassment does not mean that boys and girls in the university should not engage in relationship.
She stressed that relationship that have the consent of both is not and will not be a sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment can only occur when there is no consent and when it is obtained by force or intimidation.
“My advice to students especially female ones is that they should avoid provocative dressing and being in a lonely place with opposite sex,” she said.
Earlier, Dr. Ikechukwu Erojikwe, the Director of (C-CASH) said that he initiated and developed the project in 2020 with the support grant he won from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
According to him, “the core objectives C-CASH are to create awareness on institutions like Gender and Development Policy Centre, SERVICOM and others that have the capacity of investigating and punishing culprits of sexual harassment were they exist.
“We are also using artivism and advocacy to drive change on issues of sexual harassment, and to foster healthy relationships among staff and students, through campaign” he said.
The occasion witnessed a music and drama presentation by students which discourages sexual harassment as we encourages reporting such, with representative of all the faculties and departments of the university in attendance.