General Student Offending on the Decline, Sexual Offending Up

The University Proctor’s 2018 Discipline Report saw overall offending down but the first sexual offences referred to the Provost since 2015.

With total offending down from 2017 by 14% overall, rates of fire, glass breaking and theft are the lowest they’ve been in years. This continues the downward trend seen since 2015. 

Vice Chancellor Harlene Hayne says she is “very proud of the progress made to date and the downward trend in poor behaviour,” yet says “we cannot be complacent. The University will continue to lead improvements in pastoral care while ensuring a fun and safe environment for all students”.

In 2018, sexual offending reached the Provost’s office for the first time since 2015. Of the total 9 cases of misconduct referred to the Provost, 4 were for reports of indecent assault, one being a historic case.

None of these 4 cases resulted in the expulsion of the students in question, instead disciplinary actions ranged from community service with appropriate community groups, encouragement to seek counselling, campus restrictions on contact with the complainant, and reporting to relevant professional registration boards.

Hodges acknowledged that, while the reasons behind the number of referrals are speculative, he believed the development of Te Whare Tāwharau (Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Centre) in 2018 offered a supportive pathway for survivors to seek justice and assistance. University Proctor, Dave Scott, reports that a Sexual Misconduct Policy is currently being developed.

This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2019.
Posted 9:57pm Thursday 21st February 2019 by Nina Minogue.