The circular comes after two professors from Madras Christian College were found guilty of sexually harassing 50 students by the IC last month.

Madras Uni issues circular on sexual harassment bars profs from calling students home Wikimedia Commons/ By Aravind Sivaraj- Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
news Sexual Harassment Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 11:53

The University of Madras has issued a circular against towards sexual harassment inside the campus as a step towards making the campus a ‘Harassment-Free-Zone’. The circular, issued by the Registrar, directs anybody who is a victim of sexual harassment to file a complaint before the Internal Committee of the University or before the Registrar or Vice-Chancellor.

“The University campus is a place of knowledge and no act of sexual harassment of any sort will be permitted inside the campus,” the circular states. It also assures that the complaint will immediately be acted upon by the University.

The circular also prohibits faculty members from inviting students to their homes. “[…] it is declared that such an act by the faculty member amounts to misconduct as per the law on Sexual Harassment. (sic) Students are directed not to stay at the faculty member’s house or tour with their guides at any cost unless special permission is taken from the University authorities,” reads the circular.

The circular has been issued in order to give confidence to students that the University has a redressal system in place for sexual harassment complaints, as per reports.

The move gains significance in light of the recent case of sexual harassment of students by two professors of the Madras Christian College, Chennai. A batch of 50 students had complained in April 2019 that the two professors – R Raveen and Samuel Tennyson – had made lewd comments about their clothes and had harassed them by behaving inappropriately on a tour in February. The students had first filed a complaint with the Head of the Zoology Department, who had allegedly dismissed the complaint as a ‘first time offence’ by the staff member.

The students then went on to protest, demanding a fair inquiry into their complaint, after which the Internal Committee (IC) of the college conducted an investigation into the matter. Both professors were found guilty last month. The college has dismissed R Raveen while barring Samuel Tennyson from entering the campus since he has filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a stay on the IC order.  

Read: In a win for students, Madras Christian College dismisses prof found guilty of sexual harassment

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