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UNN moves against sexual harassment on campus

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To check incessant sexual harassment of students on campus, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has flagged off its Campus Campaign Against Sexual Harassment (C-CASH) organisation.

The C-CASH, it was gathered is an organisation of lecturers and students who are passionate to reduce sexual harassment on campus.
Vice-Chancellorof the institution, Prof. Charles Igwe, while flagging off the programme, urged students and staff to report cases of sexual harassment to the school authorities, stressing that the ugly trend had become a cankerworm which everybody should join hand to eliminate.

He said: “UNN under my watch has zero-tolerance for any form of sexual harassment, either on a student or staff. My administration abhors any form of sexual harassment. It’s evil and inhuman, and everybody should join hand to fight it.”

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According to him, the management had put measures in place to sanction offenders, insisting that his administration had created a student-friendly centre where students could get counselling and share the challenges they were facing on campus.

The VC, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Pat Opoko, however, warned students, especially the females, against dressing offensively to classes and lecturers’ offices in order not to attract negative attention.

Also, the Director of UNN SERVICOM, Prof. Sabinus Ofoefule, explained that the relationship of students and lecturers should have boundary because too much familiarity leads to sexual harassment in most cases.

He listed depression and insecurity as two major effects of sexual harassment, stressing that SERVICOM would always investigative reports of sexual harassment as well follow them to logical conclusions.

On her part, the Director, Gender and Development Policy Centre, Prof. Anthonia Achike, said that the campaign against sexual harassment did not mean that boys and girls in the university should not engage in healthy relationship.

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“Relationship that has the consent of both is not and will not be 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 the opposite sex,” she said.

Earlier, Dr. Ikechukwu Erojikwe, the Director of (C-CASH), said he initiated and developed the project in 2020 with the grant he won from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

He said the objective of C-CASH is to create awareness about institutions like Gender and Development Policy Centre, SERVICOM and others that have the capacity to investigate and punish culprits of sexual harassment.

He said the organisation would “use activism and advocacy to drive change on issues of sexual harassment and foster healthy relationships among staff and students.”

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