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St Andrew’s College Media Release – Elizabeth Broderick & Co Report

December 11, 2017

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MEDIA RELEASE 29.11.2017

St Andrew’s College accepts ‘Broderick Review’ recommendations

St Andrew’s College has announced it will accept all of the recommendations made by Elizabeth Broderick and Co (EB & Co) following a voluntary review of its culture.

The 2016-17 Culture Review led by EB & Co was an initiative led by five of the six University of Sydney residential colleges, including St Andrew’s. Its objective was to explore all areas of college life, in order to highlight strengths and identify areas for improvement.

St Andrew’s College Principal Wayne Erickson said the recommendations would build on existing initiatives like its ‘Holding the Mirror’ cultural program, which began in early 2016, and provide opportunities for improvement.

“The review found that 83% of students have had a very positive experience of College and the pride in this community and the richness of College life emerged as consistent themes from students.

“This helps explain why we have six applications for every place in College, a record of academic excellence, with 40 per cent of our students attaining a Distinction average or higher, and gender parity in our student admissions.

“Despite this encouraging feedback, the review also found that not everyone shares these positive experiences. Notwithstanding our strong College policies, including tough disciplinary and accountability measures against misconduct, some of our students have said they have experienced bullying, hazing and sexual misconduct.

“This is unacceptable. We must do better to ensure St Andrew’s is a place where every student feels valued and respected at all times.”

Through the St Andrew’s No Wrong Door Policy, the College Council and student leadership have invited any members who have experienced unacceptable behaviours, including bullying, hazing and sexual misconduct, to come forward, be heard and seek support.

Mr Erickson said St Andrew’s has a fair and confidential reporting process to bring offenders to account.

Young adults who live at St Andrew’s are typically between 18 and 23 years of age. They face the same challenges as their peer group in broader society. The EB & Co review found about 30 per cent of women across all colleges have experienced sexual harassment.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 38 per cent of all Australian women aged 18-24 said they were sexually harassed in the last year.

“Regarding sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment, including bullying, we must do better, within our institutions and in broader society, to demonstrate zero-tolerance of these behaviours,” Mr Erickson said.

2018 Action Plan

From 2018, St Andrew’s will implement several new initiatives designed to reflect the EB&Co recommendations. The Plan was developed and agreed in collaboration with students, councillors and staff.

Key actions include:

  • Expanding and strengthening current mandatory training on sexual misconduct for all college members
  • Eliminating all activity that can be construed as hazing from College events and activities
  • Ensuring all College events adhere to Responsible Service of Alcohol standards.

More detail is contained in the 2018 St Andrew’s College Action Plan.

“Since we became a co-residential college in 2002, we have worked with all College members to improve and strengthen our community and our culture,” Mr Erickson said.

“We are embracing this new opportunity to learn from what our students and peers have told us and ensure we have a robust plan for the future.”

Key facts about St Andrew’s College:

Gender equity

  • In 2017, there were 600 applications for 100 places (50 for women and 50 for men), including 7 applications for every female place, and 5 for every male place.
  • Women have been elected by their female and male peers to 73% of student leadership roles for 2018.

Academic Excellence

  • St Andrew’s requires that all students achieve and maintain a Credit average to remain in College, and more than 40 per cent of students have a Distinction average or higher.
  • Underpinning this expectation of academic excellence, the College has in place a comprehensive and well-resourced academic support program.

Equal Opportunity

  • Each year, St Andrew’s offers $1.5 million in means-tested and merit-based financial support to attract students from diverse backgrounds

Governance

  • Unlike some of the other colleges still operating under their original 19th century Act of Parliament, St Andrew’s replaced its old Act in 1998. The changes allowed the College to provide formal connection to the University of Sydney by installing the Chancellor as Visitor; to provide for the admission of women – which followed in 2002; to permit students of universities other than Sydney into residence, to remove specific governance connections to the Presbyterian Church while maintaining its heritage as a Protestant College; and for a more flexible governance structure. The passing of the new Act was supported by all parties without dissent.

Media enquiries:

Apollo Communications: Adam Connolly +61 (0)417 170 084 | Jasmine Hogg +61(0)422 834 912

About St Andrew’s College

St Andrew’s is a co-residential academic community within the University of Sydney, home to 336 male and female undergraduate students, postgraduate students, resident fellows and graduate residents, and non-residential associate members. The College offers students a combination of intellectual independence, academic support and personal development through involvement in sporting, philanthropic and cultural activities. More information: www.standrewscollege.edu.au 

ENDS

The Report to St Andrew’s College on Cultural Renewal is available here

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