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Jakarta Post

Mataram University lecturer suspended over report of alleged sexual harassment

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 23, 2020   /   02:03 pm
Mataram University lecturer suspended over report of alleged sexual harassment Illustration of sexual harassment complaint form. (Shutterstock/-)

The University of Mataram’s Law School ethics committee in West Nusa Tenggara has suspended a lecturer for five years after a female student reported him for alleged sexual harassment.

The case came to light when the student told her family about being harassed on campus by her lecturer during a thesis guidance session on June 24. The family then filed a report with the university.

Law School dean Hirsanuddin reported the case to the ethics committee, which then created a team to investigate the matter. A closed hearing on the investigation was held on Tuesday.

Ethics committee head Zainal Asikin said that after hearing statements from both the student and the lecturer, the ethics panel found the latter guilty of an ethics violation and suspended him from teaching at the university for five years.

"After a long debate, the ethics panel decided that the lecturer had indeed committed an ethics violation," Zainal told kompas.com on Tuesday, adding that the lecturer was also dismissed from his position as secretary of the school’s criminal division.

Asikin hoped the case would serve as a warning to other university lecturers.

"We, the ethics council, want to preserve the dignity that we have built. The university’s reputation has been tarnished by such behavior,” he said.

Read also: Sexual abuse on campus: 174 survivors across Indonesia speak up

Hirsanuddin claimed the university had only received one report of sexual harassment, but he urged students who experienced similar abuse to immediately file a report.

"We will protect everyone. If there is a student who feels they were harmed by similar behavior, we urge them to report their experience to the school so we can follow up on the matter," he said.

A collaboration project called #NamaBaikKampus (Campus Reputation) initiated by The Jakarta Post, Tirto.id and Vice Indonesia last year collected 207 testimonies from students of 79 universities across 29 cities in the country who claimed they had experienced abuse on campus.

Of the 207, 174 were reports of alleged sexual harassment, submitted through an online form. Eighty-eight percent were from universities in Java.

The alleged sexual harassment mostly occurred during formal university functions, such as compulsory community work (KKN), internship programs and other student-oriented programs.

In a policy brief published in May by the Center of Gender and Sexuality from the University of Indonesia's Social and Political Science Department, the center noted that the Education and Culture Ministry had no direct policy for sexual abuse in university that could be used as a guideline for other higher education institutions.

In February, Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said he was looking for a way to prevent sexual harassment and assault in the education sector and provide legal protection for victims.

The Islamic education directorate general of the Religious Affairs Ministry issued a guideline for the prevention of sexual violence in Islamic Universities in 2019. (mfp)