Rhodes agrees to some of anti-rape activists’ demands

2016-04-21 10:08
Students argue with Rhodes lecturers after police dispersed protesters using teargas and rubber bullets. (Supplied, Zindzi Nkunzi)

Students argue with Rhodes lecturers after police dispersed protesters using teargas and rubber bullets. (Supplied, Zindzi Nkunzi)

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East London – Rhodes University has agreed to some of the demands made by students who have been protesting against sexual violence and the tertiary institution’s handling of victims.

Rhodes’s Student Representative Council said the university had agreed to increase the number of staff in the Harassment Office who deal with cases of sexual abuse and also set up a task team that will look into changing the institution’s current sexual harassment policy.

This will include a change in the definition of rape as well as a change in the policy that currently requires victims to prove that their perpetrators intended to rape them.

Five students who were arrested on Wednesday during the protests were released with a warning to reappear at the Grahamstown Magistrate’s Court on July 20.

Police used rubber bullets and stun grenades when the student gathering became “aggressive”.

The protests were sparked on Sunday by the publication of a list naming alleged rapists and sexual assaulters who either work or study at Rhodes.

Days later, activists staged a ‘naked protest’ on campus.

There are, however, some demands that Rhodes did not agree to.  One of these was a requirement that those charged with rape be suspended from their residences.

The university has suspended all academic activities until Friday, April 22 and will resume on Monday.

WATCH: Rubber bullets, tear gas and frantic cries at Rhodes

Read more on:    rhodes university  |  east london  |  university protests

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