Some of our volunteers share their reasoning for being involved in this campaign below. This gives us insight into the experience of students of campus, beyond the policy and solidifies the importance of our persistence with battling rape culture on campus.
After writing my final year dissertation exploring the topic of sexual violence within the night-time economy, it was very clear that this is something I’ve grown even more passionate about.
Having recently been a student, I am more than aware of the persistence of sexual misconduct and how UK universities are considerably lacking in both support and policy procedure. It is clear that we still have a long way to go, reversing victim-blaming tendencies that are engrained in responses to sexual violence and assault. Finding this campaign after my studies was a great natural progression, allowing me to continue my efforts to raise awareness and collaborate with like minded people who share the same passion.
I wanted to participate in this campaign because i have been experiencing sexual harassment both at a workplace and at university. I used to work as a language teacher in international schools and the senior faculty (90% are white males) and management there were sexually harassing and they were somehow accepted as part of the culture and no one dares to raise the objection so I could really identify with sexual misconduct between senior and junior staff and believe it’s a issues that needs to be address on and beyond the campus. And studying at the University of Glasgow as a Asian woman also leads me to quite some inappropriate sexual invitation and sexist languages in different context and/or social events. Asian women are constantly being hyper sexualised and objectified but this trend of “ yellow fever” somehow was justified by some people. I feel the need to express my voice and resistance for other international people(especially women of colour) who come to study at UK and to make contributions in Reclaim the Campus campaign, hopefully resulting in even the tinest change as a collective action to combat sexual harassment/violence for all and making people aware of women of colour’s experience in higher education.
Universities are supposed to be safe spaces where young adults experience freedom, independence, and self-discovery. Instead, far too often university experience is tainted by sexual misconduct experiences. However, astonishingly enough, I have heard far too many people claim that sexual harassment does not ‘really’ happen in England. Having written my undergraduate dissertation on students’ perception of rape, I found that there is a gap between students’ understanding of rape and its actual definition. I strongly believe universities should take action to tackle these discrepancies. In this way, by being a part of RTC, I am proud to advocate for policy change to create safer universities, all while supporting survivors by giving them a voice. I have been on the committee of two UCL societies who raised awareness of sexual violence, and being a recent graduate, I am honored to be a part of RTC to continue to fight for change on a larger scale.
I became acutely aware of sexual misconduct on university campuses when I was assaulted in a nightclub. What I wasn't aware of, however, was the extent of the issue. After the Warwick and Durham group chats were leaked, I realised how prevalent attitudes condoning sexual violence are in higher education. My experience wasn't unique, and I wanted to join an organisation that gave victim-survivors a voice. Being part of Reclaim the Campus has allowed me to investigate where university policies are failing to protect students, and how these can be amended to create a safe environment for men and women. The campaign has also offered the opportunity to research sexual misconduct on a broader scale, and gain an insight into the barriers facing victim-survivors. Being part of such a passionate and encouraging group is an honour, and I’m excited to see what the campaign achieves.
After recently graduating from University, I began to reflect on my time as a student over the past four years and whilst I was lucky to have an overall positive experience, the issue of the prevalence of sexual misconduct, sexual assault and rape on campus is something that became disturbingly evident. Myself, and most people I knew had either experienced sexual assault to varying degrees or knew someone personally who had. The notion of this was deeply unsettling in the duration of my time as a student, so once I left university I was encouraged to become involved with RTC because I believe that no matter how common these incidents may seem, they should never be depicted as a ‘normal’ student experience. One thing I loved about RTC from the outside was how inclusive the campaign is as it aims to raise awareness of sexual assault experienced by students regardless of gender, race or sexuality. Every single student’s experience is valid. It is evident that UK universities are not doing enough to safeguard its students and many have ineffective policies addressing this issue.