LUMS Stakeholders Come Together to Discuss Safety on Campus
To discuss ways of making the LUMS campus safer for all, and to deter all forms of harassment, a student-led discussion was held on July 7, 2020. It was co-moderated by Ms. Mahnoor Saeed, member of the LUMS Student Council, and Dr. Nida Kirmani, Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The town hall meeting was held on Zoom and was attended by close to 200 participants from the LUMS community. Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, Ms. Angbeen Atif Mirza, Director, Office of Accessibility and Inclusion; Dr. Adnan Khan, Dean of Student Affairs, and Deans and faculty members of the different Schools were present to address students’ concerns about sexual harassment on campus
Ms. Wafa Ashar, a student; shared recommendations on behalf of the LUMS student body that stressed on the need for sensitivity when dealing with harassment on campus, and more accountability for those accused.
Dr. Ahmad reassured the student body that strict action would be taken against perpetrators, and new mechanisms at the University would aim to ensure that no voice goes unheard. “There is no place for sexual harassment, bullying or coercion at LUMS and we will not tolerate nor condone these degrading acts,” he said.
Dr. Ahmad outlined the roles of the Office of Accessibility and Inclusion (OAI), Counselling and Psychological Services, Office of Advising, and Office of Student Affairs that would coordinate closely on such matters. “The OAI will become the focal point through which harassment issues will primarily be dealt with, where campaigns of awareness will originate, where ongoing surveys will be conducted, and where mandatory ongoing sexual harassment training for all LUMS employees and students will take place,” he said.
He also shared that a student-led helpline will be set-up to work to better understand the student experience with regards to harassment. The sexual harassment committee will be expanded and all appointments will be scrutinised by the Deans and Office of the Provost, while students will be invited in advisory roles to ensure transparency on related matters.
All these measures and more, said Dr. Ahmad, will be widely shared with the LUMS community to encourage a more respectful, and safe environment for all.