Student Orientation Guidelines Against Sexual Harassment

Everyone, irrespective of their gender, pregnancy, marital / family status, disability, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, political / other opinion, national / social origin, etc. has the right to be respected and be treated fairly.  The University has zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination and may refer the case to law enforcement agency (such as the police) where appropriate.  Any staff member or student who is found to have contravened the Equal Opportunities Policy is liable to disciplinary action (including dismissal for staff and expulsion for students).

 

 

Purpose of Guidelines

 

With a view to building an equal opportunities campus free of sexual harassment from the beginning of students’ university life, the Guidelines are developed to raise awareness and guard against sexual harassment in student orientation activities.  All participants, including organisers, student leaders and new students, should follow the Guidelines.

 

 

Definition of Sexual Harassment

 

Type 1: Sexual harassment targeting an individual

Subjective

Person A engages in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to Person B

Objective

in circumstances in which a reasonable third party would have anticipated that Person B would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

 

Type 2: Creating a sexually hostile environment

Subjective + Objective

Person C engages in conduct of a sexual nature which does not target at Person D, but creates a hostile or intimidating environment for Person D.

 

 

 

Preventing Sexual Harassment

 

Dos

  • Respect yourself and others.  Behave properly while meeting new friends.

  • Be aware of cultural and individual differences.  Behaviour which is acceptable in one culture or a particular person may be regarded as unacceptable or offensive in another.
  • If you find or observe unwelcome behaviour, speak up at the time or intervene under safe circumstances.  If you wish to stop the behaviour in a more indirect way, start a new topic or express yourself with body language (e.g. avoiding physical contact).
  • Be sensitive to signs of discomfort.  Stop and apologise if you notice discomfort.
  • Arrange male and female students to stay in separate areas in a campsite and avoid arranging activities that allow students to stay in areas of the opposite sex especially during night-time.

 

Don’ts

Behaviours that may amount to sexual harassment, such as:

  • Organise activities that may involve unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, e.g. games involving close body contacts and sexually suggestive games.
  • Use slogan / cheers / lyrics / group names / banners / posters, etc. that are of a sexual nature or sexually suggestive.
  • Tell sexual jokes, ask sex-related questions, or make comments on body shape such as breast / chest size, buttocks or legs.
  • Leer at another’s breast / chest or buttocks.
  • Unwelcome physical contact such as touching the thigh, hugging around waist or pressing close to another without consent.
  • Send pornographic images in WhatsApp (to another person or in a group).
  • Watch pornographic videos in the presence of others.

 

 

More Facts about Sexual Harassment

 

  • Both male and female can be the harassers and victims.
  • Sexual harassment may occur between members of the same sex or opposite sex.
  • Sexual harassment may occur at any time (on and off school / office hours) and at anywhere (on and off campus and online).
  • Most sexual harassment acts are committed by someone the victim knows.  On campus, it can happen between students, university staff and students, coaches and students, and university staff members.
  • The minorities, such as persons of LGBTI (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex), people with disabilities and non-local students, are more prone to be sexually harassed, according to a study of Equal Opportunities Commission.  Care and respect should be shown instead.

 

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Online Resources

 

Please visit the University’s webpage (www.eduhk.hk/equal_opportunities) for more information on preventing sexual harassment (more examples, what to do when encountering sexual harassment, support services, enquiries / complaints), the Equal Opportunities Policy and training materials on creating an equal opportunities campus.