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Cultural renewal at the University of Sydney residential colleges

Sexual harassment Student behaviour Sexual assault Student welfare Higher education

The Project Team involved in preparing this sought to understand the great strengths of College life: the sense of community; the academic excellence that inspires students; the pastoral care; the extracurricular activities; the building of deep and lasting friendships; and the networking opportunities and connection to College alumni.

The Project Team also sought to identify those areas of culture that may need strengthening or renewal. For example, how easy it is to fit in? What are the traditions and are they still relevant? What part does alcohol play? Does an individual have to be a particular type of person to succeed? How are College students treated by the broader University community? What are the experiences of students in engaging and socialising with residents at other Colleges? How safe is the College? Are there incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault?

In those areas identified as requiring further action, strong recommendations for reform have been made.

The Project Team received strong support from each College Council Chair, the College Heads, their Executive Teams, and the student leaders who championed the Project and were critical in ensuring students and staff were fully engaged.

The Report provides an independent assessment of the current culture within each College together with recommendations for future targeted individual and collective action. The recommendations build on the promising individual cultural change initiatives already underway in each of the Colleges.

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