Tackling Student Safety: January Update
As many of you will be aware, prior to Christmas SUSU ran lots of initiatives to help tackle student safety issues, in particular actions to combat the rise in spiking. We wanted to provide an update as to where we’ve got to on all of this. So please see below for the update from Matt (VP Sports) and Savanna (VP Welfare & Community).
Student Safety Charter
As many of you will remember, on Monday 25th October we hosted a town hall event to try and create some positive change around the subject of spiking. From this event we created a Student Safety Charter, and we thank all the students who provided feedback on this charter. After going through the comments, the finished charter was then sent to local nighttime venue owners to review and decide if they would wish to sign.
Since then, there’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and constant dialogue with nighttime venue owners to ensure that they meet all their objectives in the charter. We are hoping to soon release the names of the venues which have signed up, and look forward to working with these venues closely while also holding them to account.
We have also started a dialogue with the police and will be discussing the future licensing conditions of local venues.
Testing Kits and Stop Topps
Although it’s upsetting that it’s necessary, we have been successful in securing lots of products to help tackle drinks spiking within the student population and to help people feel comfortable on a night out. We secured a substantial amount of testing kits which were re-supplied halfway through the term. In addition, we have a large amount of attack alarms which are available to collect, and we secured funding for Stop Topps for use in all of our late-night venues including The Stag’s. We will continue to monitor the supply of these to ensure they are kept available for free for students to collect from reception when needed.
Funding from Southampton City Council
After liaising with the Violence Reduction Unit at Southampton City Council, they have committed to providing SUSU with £5,000 worth of safety initiatives and materials that will help improve student safety. We are aiming to acquire further spiking prevention materials and a specific training programme for staff in our student venues.
Student Safety Survey
Before Christmas, the PCC safety survey closed, and the responses were collated. In total, 222 University of Southampton students responded. The responses have provided an extremely useful insight into the prevalence of sexual violence and spiking against students, where it’s occurring and suggestions for increasing the amount of reporting of these instances. We will be reviewing the results in depth in the coming weeks and planning any next steps in light of the data.
Lots more information about what we are doing to keep students safe and where you can report student safety incidents can found here: SUSU Safe.
There’s been lots of press coverage around spiking, and recently Matt caught up with Wonkhe to discuss all the work we have been doing in an attempt to keep our students safe: There’s widespread worry about spiking – are students in danger? | Wonkhe.
Matt (VP Sports) & Savanna (VP Welfare and Community)Tags: safety charter, spiking, stop topps, student safety, susu safe