UMSU Gets Info on Queerphobic Teachers

31 October 2013

The student union’s Queer Department are asking students to officially report any queerphobia they have experienced in their classes at university. This comes after allegations were made to Queer Officer Galih Pangestu that lecturers and tutors were failing to provide a safe space for all students, which is a university policy.

Pangestu says that five people have reported queerphobia so far in their classes, including three separate complaints against one lecturer in the Arts faculty. There are particular concerns when it comes to transphobia in classes.

“The other two are from commerce, and the humanities. I’m asking for students to provide lecture recordings when they report. I don’t want to give the university any wiggle room,” Pangestu says.

Lara Rafferty, manager of the university’s Fairness and Equity Unit, says that they take allegations of discrimination very seriously, and that all teaching staff are required to comply with the Equal Opportunity Policy.

“The University of Melbourne provides an online training program titled ‘Promoting Positive Workplace Behaviours’ relating directly to the prevention of discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. All staff are required to complete the on-line program after appointment and then complete a refresher program every two years.”

Reporting will remain open for the remainder of the year and is open to anyone who has experience homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in their lectures and tutorials.

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