Safe Events, Respectful Clubs & Societies Resource (SERCS) is a resource and training that has been put together to assist clubs and societies and student organisations to run events which are inclusive and safe for all people. It has been created in recognition of the important role that student organisations play in the creation of culture and community within universities.
Independent, student-controlled and student-run representative organisations, the advocacy and services they provide, are core to students having a positive university experience. They have to power to create culture, community and collective action on campus.
They are not perfect organisations, however, and there exists within some organisations and some clubs, a culture that has the capacity to endanger women’s safety. This is not to say that all or even most are bad but all have the capacity to do better by engaging with programs such as Safe Events Respectful Clubs and Societies.
The aim of the SERCS program is to ensure that women have both the ability and the right to fully participate in the clubs and societies and activities provided by student organisations.
Active, engaged and interesting student organisations are the lifeblood of campus life…When they do the right thing, student organisations are capable of setting the tone of what sort of community we want our universities to have. In this same vein, student organisations and clubs and societies that treat women as less, or run events which are unsafe and unwelcoming for women, have the ability to set that as a community on campus.
– NUS Women’s Officer, 2012, Noni Sproule
AWAVA supported and endorsed the Safe Events Respectful Clubs and Societies (SERCS) program developed by one of our Advisory Group member organisations, the National Union of Students (NUS) in partnership with South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA)