The Vice Chancellor for the University for Development Studies, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye has assured fresh students of the institution that, it had a robust policy on sexual harassment to protect both students and lecturers alike.
The policy, he said did not countenance or shield perpetrators of sexual misdeeds against either a lecturer or a student in the course of their academic work on the campus and therefore urged the students to report any form of sexual abuse that occurred between them and their instructors to the school authorities for investigation and redress.
The Vice Chancellor stated this in a speech which was read on his behalf by the Dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Management at the Campus, Professor Emmanuel Derbile over the weekend when the campus held matriculation for first year students of the Wa campus of UDS at Wa.
The campus matriculated 1,411 students out of which 579 belonged to the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, 306 to the Faculty of Planning and Land Management and 526 to the School of Business and Law, for undergraduate, graduate as well as post-graduate studies.
Professor Teye stated that no staff had the right to trade grades for sex, nor take advantage of the innocence and vulnerability of the students to demand for sexual favours from them before carrying out their legally mandated duties as lecturers or supervisors.
“I hope you are all aware of the news trending in both the traditional and social media on ‘Sex for grades’. Management of the institution will not condone any such acts of sexual harassment in the university. Victims of sexual harassment should never feel intimidated but are rather entreated to muster courage and come forward for the necessary support,” he stated.
Touching on academic work, the Vice Chancellor stated that the university was more particular about the authenticity of the thesis and project reports students tendered in at the end of their studies as mandated at their level, and had therefore subscribed to a plagiarism policy that would ensure that students presented their own work for marks.
“To fight the canker of plagiarism, the university has subscribed to the anti-plagiarism software, Turn-it-in, for use by students and staff. The threshold for the similarity index with the usage of the Turn-it-in is pegged at 20 per cent level of acceptance,” he explained.
He encouraged students to pursue their core mandate of admission with all seriousness and avoid distractions that had the tendencies of cutting short their academic dreams, adding that, the university had systems in place to support those who were ready to adhere to the rules and regulations of the school and also study hard but had no room for people who would be in contempt with the regulations and rules of the university.
Professor Teye used the occasion to commend the security personnel of the institution for helping to reduce road accidents fatalities among students and staff by enforcing the ‘no-helmet-no-entry’ policy which was introduced by the university two years ago on all its campuses.
He indicated that the policy which did not give entry to students and staff who rode without crash helmet, had protected the lives of the riders, and urged the personnel to continue to enforce of the policing while advising the riders to use their crash helmet to avoid needless confrontations between them and the security who were only enforcing a laid-down policy.
FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA