Students and staff of Stellenbosch University can now report unfair discrimination and harassment incidents on the newly launched online case management reporting platform.
The Equality Unit, who spearheaded the initiative, worked carefully to develop a web-based platform that would allow complainants to report incidents, transgressions and complaints effortlessly, confidentially and safely.
"As part of our goal to strengthen the impact of the Equality Unit, it was important to ensure that the office was equipped with the most effective tools to aid them in undertaking their crucial mandate for our institution. I am therefore very pleased with the implementation of the online reporting platform which would enhance reporting and monitoring, and aid in the resolving of cases," said prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching.
The platform echoes reporting platforms implemented by other South African universities. The platform will create a more enabling environment to report incidents and provide SU with better insight into gender-based violence and forms of unfair discrimination. Better data management and centralised reporting functionality will result in a more effective way of controlling risks and acting on unfair discrimination and harassment incidents on campus.
"The implementation of integrated case management and online reporting platform had become imperative. By enabling students and staff to report unfair discrimination and harassment matters, Stellenbosch University will better understand trends, strengthen accountability and enhance reporting to senior management. This will result in more effective control over risks within the campus environment and the ability to address matters promptly and responsibly.
"This reporting page gives staff and students greater agency to report anywhere and get support from the Equality Unit team and other support services," says Jaco Greeff Brink, head of the Equality Unit
The online reporting and monitoring platform further allows complainants to lodge incidents anonymously. However, this may delay proper assessment by the Equality Unit.
The platform assists in:
• providing a clear picture of potential risks;
• integrating existing data and information into a centralised database;
• creating focused awareness and understanding of matters reported; and
• enabling complainants to make informed decisions and access support services.
It will seamlessly integrate reporting, monitoring and analysis.
Staff and students can still report incidents through the Unit's walk-in service or via firstname.lastname@example.org but are encouraged to make use of the web-based platform.
The Equality Unit hopes that introducing the online reporting and monitoring platform would encourage students and staff to come forward and report all incidents of unfair discrimination and harassment.