Respect. On campus. Online. At home

June 17 / 194

For the second year running, the University came together to celebrate Respect Week and show our commitment to a safe and inclusive community, one that embraces diversity and rejects all forms of assault, harassment, discrimination and bullying. 

“It was inspiring to see so many areas of the University – including UMSU – coming together to plan and create such a successful week-long experience,” says committee chair and Director of Wellbeing, Daniel Persaud.

“We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support and commitment,” he says. “Everyone on the committee played a crucial role in planning and, as an added and important offshoot, promoted the services the University runs year round to assist students and staff seeking the advice and support they need.”

“As such we celebrated the nature of community and enabled the wider community of staff, students and visitors to do the same.” 

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Respect Week conducted in association with awareness-raising campaigns delivered by the University’s Safer Community Program, this year’s event was even bigger and better.

“This year we ran an expanded program of 16 different events across the week that encompassed interactive workshops, seminars by leading University of Melbourne academics, and social events held at Parkville, Southbank and Burnley campuses,” says Campus Community Manager Sally Coates.

In a midweek highlight, students, staff and visitors streamed onto South Lawn on Parkville campus for the Respect Week Social. In perfect Melbourne autumn weather they lined up for a fabulous free lunch, listened to a respect-inspired playlist (best suggestion earning a $50 retail voucher), and sign their pledge to contribute to a respectful living and learning community. 

In a world where respectful relations can fall far short of the ideal (to say the least), Daniel believes that events such as Respect Week provide an opportunity to question how best to shape a safe and supportive community. 

And provide a starting point for coming up with effective answers. It's simple really. 

“Let’s start here” says Daniel. “At our university.” 


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