Photo: Kristian Ridder-Nielsen

DTU’s President: We take our responsibility for a safe study environment very seriously

Friday 09 Feb 18

Contact

Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
President
+45 45 25 10 00
In order to combat lack of well-being and harassment, we need open dialogue on forward-looking and preventive measures.

DTU is currently involved in a case about students who want to raise the important debate about sexual harassment at the universities, and how this issue should be addressed. Posters with descriptions of offences have been posted on DTU’s noticeboards.

Let me be absolutely clear: DTU will under no circumstances accept sexual harassment or any other offensive behaviour. But DTU is a part of society at large, and the unacceptable behaviour that the #MeToo campaign focuses on can also occur here.

Like our students and other participants in the debate, I want to bring unacceptable behaviour out into the open, and I also understand that those that raise these issues need to stay anonymous. Coming forward with these types of accusations may in itself be very unpleasant, and the attention you are subjected to may make the experience even worse.

"Like our students and other participants in the debate, I want to bring unacceptable behaviour out into the open."
Anders O. Bjarklev, President of DTU

But we have cannot take action against anyone on the basis of anonymous descriptions. Therefore, I urge all of you who have been exposed to offences or unpleasantness to contact our Student Counselling Office, Polyteknisk Forening (PF student association), DTU’s psychological counselling or our student chaplain.

This is a safe system, where you are guaranteed 100 per cent confidentiality. We have offered these services for a long time, but perhaps we haven’t done a good enough job of advocating them. We will do so now.

In order to combat lack of well-being and harassment, we need open dialogue on forward-looking and preventive measures. In this matter, DTU’s management is fully in line with our student association Polyteknisk Forening which has now launched its own campaign to make students aware of the possibilities they have to seek out help, if they are exposed to sexual harassment.

In the forthcoming study environment survey, which we expect to see the results of in April, students were asked whether they have experienced unwanted sexual attention either from other students or employees. We expect the survey to provide us with a clearer picture of the extent of the problem, and the results will be taken up in the DTU Steering Committee for Gender Equality and Diversity.