By Sarah L. Sorensen – Westminster College of American River College (WCAORC) has been named the worst of U.K. universities for its handling of sexual harassment complaints, according to a report published by The Times.
The report, entitled The Worst Colleges for Sexual Harassment, finds that WCAORCs students and faculty are disproportionately represented in male-dominated settings.
It also notes that the school has a high rate of reported sexual harassment and assault.
WCAORSC’s President, Ian Liddell, has said the school is committed to fostering a safe learning environment for all students, including those from minority groups.
“As a global university, we believe that every student has the right to attend and learn from us, and we will continue to do so,” he wrote in a statement to The Times, “while taking all appropriate measures to protect our students and our campus.”
The report notes that a wide range of campus practices are not only lacking in WCAorsC’s anti-harassment policy, but also the diversity of its students and staff.
“In order to achieve this, it is vital that we address the issues of racial and sexual orientation as a matter of urgency,” Liddel said.
“It is important to recognize that there is no silver bullet that will prevent sexual harassment, but we need to focus our efforts on ensuring that we ensure that the right environment for everyone is created.”
WCAorc students are disproportionately male and minority and are often the most marginalized students at the university.
It has been widely reported that in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, WCAoring was the first British university to report sexual harassment to police.
In November, the school published a “Statement of Commitment” in which it acknowledged its failings.
“We will always work towards a world where we all are safe and respected and we recognise the importance of diversity in all our efforts,” the school said.
The school has received praise from the UK’s Women in Media Awards, which noted the university’s “great work to bring together the voices of women in the media.”
Wearing a hijab in the classroom has also become a contentious issue at the school.
Worshipful men wearing the head covering, which is often worn by women in Islam, have also faced accusations of sexual assault.
According to the report, WCOORC has been accused of using the hijab as a “sexual shield.”
“Students and staff have expressed a fear of being singled out for sexual harassment because of their faith and/or ethnicity,” the report states.
“Students also expressed a strong desire to avoid the ‘hookup culture,’ which was also reported to be a common theme at WCOorc.”