June 2020 update – our big picture approach
At UTS, we have zero-tolerance towards any form of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Professor Attila Brungs, UTS Vice-Chancellor and President
Respect.Now.Always. (RNA) aims to create cultural change by tackling the attitudes and behaviours that support sexual violence. Through whole-of-community engagement and participatory design, RNA seeks to reduce, eradicate and prevent sexual violence at UTS.
With that in mind, what has 2020 looked like for Respect.Now.Always (so far)?
Covid-19 has changed our focus, but not our drive. As many of us have been forced to work, live and study differently, the pandemic has created a different focus for RNA. This has meant greater communication with our community on being an active (virtual) bystander, netiquette guidelines, and setting personal boundaries and respecting those of others, as staff and students begin the gradual return to campus.
A fresh look and feel. In 2020, we unveiled a refreshed brand for RNA at Orientation, in keeping with the ice-cream theme of ‘Wanna Spoon? Ask first!’ Free ice-cream was served, with flavours re-named with consent-related puns developed with students in social media competitions. Merchandise (including t-shirts, condoms and stickers) enabled participants to publicly declare their support of consent and respect.
Implementing the Strategic Framework. Since its soft launch to senior leaders and executives in November 2019, the RNA Strategic Framework is entering its next phase – implementation. Led by the Design Innovation Research Centre, this co-design project aims to convert the Strategic Framework into actionable, robust and practical recommendations for the UTS community, by creating positive cultural change in addressing the issue of sexual violence on campus.
Podcast. UTS Student Hacks is a weekly podcast bringing you the best tips, resources and study hacks on offer. A collaboration with RNA has seen an episode dedicated to respecting and establishing boundaries at uni. Listen to the podcast.
Partnering with leading authorities. We recognise that our work in this space is part of a wider culture-setting piece about consent and sexual violence. This is why we’ve teamed up with leading authorities such as the Department of Communities and Justice, and Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia, in our ground-up cultural change movement. Demonstrating our leadership outside campus walls, and sharing our values and principles in how we approach the issue of sexual violence at UTS, ensures that our thinking and research aligns with the wider public good.
Resonating with ESL and international students. In a recent student workshop with UTS International and UTS Insearch, feedback was received about the delivery of RNA to those without a high competency of the English language. It was suggested that the use of multi-cell cartoons could best illustrate some of the puns and humour for this audience, and more importantly, convey the message stand-alone without text. These multi-cell cartoons are now being considered across our RNA visuals and designs into 2020.
As we continue to work and study during these times of restriction and isolation, your safety and wellbeing remains paramount. Know your rights, and respond with compassion to any forms of sexual violence. Report an incident, find support, or help a friend.