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National Taiwan University updates teacher-student sexual harassment guidelines

Students can end abusive supervisory relationships more easily

A topiary displays the characters for NTU's nickname, "Tai-da." (CNA photo) 

A topiary displays the characters for NTU's nickname, "Tai-da." (CNA photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — National Taiwan University (NTU) students who face sexual harassment from supervisory teachers can now more effectively end their supervisory relationships, after the university amended regulations on Monday (Nov. 20).

NTU said that before the regulations were changed, if a student raised a complaint regarding sexual harassment or abuse from a supervisor, the complaint was processed by the gender equity committee, which would coordinate with the supervisor’s department to find a replacement, per CNA. Now, students are able to directly end the relationship themselves, if their complaint is upheld by the gender equity committee.

If a supervisory relationship is ended by a student on this basis, the relevant department will be required to coordinate with both parties to determine how the student's research results will be shared. The new regulations said this must happen within one month of the relationship ending.

The changes come after reported cases of sexual harassment and abuse exploded in Taiwan in June amid a nationwide “Me Too” movement. Cases reported involved university staff and students, including some at NTU.

The university said that the new regulations were created with input from the graduate student association, the academic affairs office, the gender equity committee, the legal affairs office, and NTU President Wen-chang Chen (陳文章). It said the changes reflect students' and teachers' efforts to improve the campus environment.