Response from Sunday, Guild President, to Everyone's Invited.
This week there have been reports of a social media page collating students’ heart-breaking experiences of sexual violence whilst at University. Notably for us, Exeter was ranked as having the highest number of reports. This is devastating.
I have immediately met with leaders of the University to discuss this and develop plans to move this conversation forward with students.
Alongside working with the University on their sexual misconduct policies, I have spent a lot of time with legal experts rewriting the Guild’s own sexual misconduct policies to be more supportive and more victim-focused. I want all students to know that if you come to us with a disclosure you will be fully supported.
I am also aware that not all survivors will want to embark down a formal complaint route, and that is also fine. Everyone heals in different ways and if speaking out on social media, or submitting your story to a social media page is how you want to process your trauma, then I absolutely support you.
Your Vice-President Welfare, Ruby, and your Vice-President Activities, Liv, are meeting with the Provost on 22 April to speak about work on implementing consent and bystander intervention training for all students, changing the culture and safety in the city at night, setting up schemes such as a night bus, partnering with taxi companies and getting better lighting in the evenings to ensure students can get home safely. They will continue to work closely with students on all of these areas.
Finally, amid so much pain, I want to say that I am always overwhelmed by the strength of our students to stand up and speak out.
Here are a list of resources to help anyone who has faced sexual violence before, or at, University.
Sunday Blake, Guild President