Tasmanian News

Thousands petition to ban sex offender from UTAS

640px UniTas Centenary Building

More than 2,700 people have signed a petition, calling on The University of Tasmania to ban a student from campus who is a convicted sex offender.

The Women's Collective Society calling on the University to terminate Nicholas Bester's PHD Scholarship, saying his attendance is putting students' safety at risk.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Proffessor Brigid Heywood said there is nothing in University rules governing PhDs that precludes Bester continuing his research, but necessary steps have been taken to ensure student safety.

Campaign Spokesperson Heidi La Paglia said the University is ignoring student’s right to be protected.

"It is pretty clear to me that the University Behaviour Policy, that applies to all students and staff, which says all students have the right to an education free of harassment, sexual assault and abuse... has been broken" Says Ms La Paglia.

Chairman of the Tasmanian Prisoners Legal Service, Greg Barns, said the petition is very dangerous.

" It is very unfortunate that these students have taken it upon themselves to determine who and who cannot come onto University campus, without any understanding of this particular case or any case for that matter".

" There is simply no evidence of any risk in relation to this particular individual and those students who have taken this action are setting a very dangerous precedent, it is simply vigilante activity", Said Mr Barns.

The petition was posted two days ago on Change.org.

Image: Wilkimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UniTas-Centenary_Building.jpg

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