On 9 May, 2017 the Ashesi Judicial Committee (AJC) heard a case of alleged sexual assault in an off-campus hostel against an Ashesi student by an Ashesi student.
The AJC concluded that the student, a member of the Class of 2020, was guilty of sexual harassment.
As stated in Ashesi’s Student Handbook:
Sexual harassment, a form of discrimination based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation, clearly endangers the environment of mutual respect and is prohibited.
Definition: Sexual harassment is of two basic types: (a) any action, verbal expression, usually repeated or persistent, or series of actions or expressions that have either the intent, or are reasonably perceived as having the effect, of creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning educational, employment, or living environment for a student or University employee, by focusing on that person's gender. A hostile environment is defined as one that interferes with the ability to learn, work (if employed by the University), or have access and opportunity to participate in all and any aspect of campus life (harassment creating a hostile environment); (b) […].
Descriptions: Sexually harassing behaviours differ in type and severity and can range from subtle verbal harassment to unwelcome physical contact. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to (a) unwelcome verbal or physical advances, persistent leers, lewd comments; (b) […]; (c) […]. (Ashesi Student Handbook, Section 10.15)
After deliberating, the AJC arrived at the following sanctions:
- The student is being suspended from Ashesi with immediate effect. The earliest that the student can resume is January 2018.
The AJC would especially like to advise the Ashesi community of the following:
- Students should be explicit about saying and receiving no or yes to sexual advances; if it is not clear, it is a no.
- Students should be careful about interpreting signals from others.
- Students should not enter someone else’s private space uninvited.
- Students should be aware that verbal or sexual insinuations could constitute harassment.
- Naivete or ignorance of offenses is not an excuse to escape sanctions.
- Students should be aware of their environment and take precautions to ensure their safety and that of others.
- Safety is a collective responsibility; students should look out for each other.