Catholic University students shutdown campus over sexual harassment

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The university student’s representative committee acting on behalf of the whole students forced the suspension of lectures throughout the day.
The university student’s representative committee acting on behalf of the whole students forced the suspension of lectures throughout the day.

Bulawayo – Students at the Catholic University Bulawayo campus locked down the university  the whole day on Thursday in protest over various grievances that include sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers.

The university student’s representative committee acting on behalf of the whole students forced the suspension of lectures throughout the day.

When Mail and Telegraph visited the university St Augustine Seminary campus in Sunnyside, the main gate was closed and the protesting students didn’t allow anyone to gain access, waving placards inscribed with their demands.

There was a petition stamped at the gate listing all the grievances the students want attended to.

“Dear fellow students it has been brought to our attention that after a series of queries made to the university the authorities have not been taking action to our concerns, we have some more pressing issues at the campus which include: unhealthy living conditions, female students are complaining about sexual harassment from male lecturers and also there is victimisation of students by some lecturers. If we complain they say we will fail, there is shortage of furniture, unreliable internet connection and the Bulawayo campus has been exempted from participating for the Miss CUZ 2018, why is that so.

“Failure to comply with the above conditions will result in a continued lockdown with the students,” read part of the petition.

Other issues that the students raised include expensive food prices at the canteen, shortage of printing services as well as  preferential treatment of the Harare campus, whilst neglecting the Bulawayo one.

In an interview, a student identified as Bruce, he said they encourage every student to join in the protest till their grievances were heard.

“We will continue protesting till our complaints are met, we will make sure that there are no lectures conducted till they show interest and comply with our demands. Our conditions should be at par with other campuses, we can’t be treated like second class citizens by the same administration,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the university administration were fruitless as the Mail and Telegraph crew was locked outside the gate for the greater part of the day.