The Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication in Pune wrote to its students and alumni on Tuesday inviting them for discussions on sexual harassment on campus, reported The Print. Women students and the alumni have made several allegations of such incidents on campus in recent days through the #MeToo posts on social media.
On Tuesday, the college circulated a Google form, according to PTI. “We can start a dialogue without even mentioning your identity,” it said. “Your one step can go a long way in making someone’s life easier.”
In another statement, the college told students and alumni about an existing Internal Complaints Committee, and announced the setting up of a Committee Against Sexual Harassment cell. More than 10 students have shared their experiences anonymously or otherwise on social media. The Internal Complaints Committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss complaints, Symbiosis International University Pro-Chancellor Vidya Yeravdekar told The Indian Express.
The college apologised to former students. “Dear alumni, we are indeed sorry, if you had to face something like this,” it said. “But we promise you that if you reach out to the Internal Complaints Committee. We will take steps and actions, if need be.”
Meanwhile, former student Vaishnavi Suresh wrote a letter to the college’s director with a list of demands. The letter was signed by 306 students and alumni, reported The Print.
“In the light of recent events where journalists and media professionals [including some of SCMC’s alumni] have been accused by women on social media of sexual harassment in professional spaces, we feel making college a safer space is the need of the hour,” the letter read.
The letter requested the administration to set up an Internal Complaints Committee, hold gender sensitisation workshops for students and faculty, and investigate professors accused of sexual harassment.
“If you need a platform to make your voice heard, then ICC can be that voice,” the college said in one of its statements to students and alumni. “If you wish to share your story so that others benefit from it, we’d help you do so, without your identity being revealed, if you choose to keep it so. Your safety and health are essential to us, which is why you could always confide in us, throughout this difficult journey.”
Some former students who have made harassment allegations had claimed that authorities did not do anything when they brought the incidents to their notice.