University Of Belgrade Students Oppose Appointment Of Dean Due To Assault Allegations

University Of Belgrade Students Oppose Appointment Of Dean Due To Assault Allegations
University Of Belgrade Students Oppose Appointment Of Dean Due To Assault Allegations

In Belgrade, Serbia, University students took a stand on Friday, protesting the potential appointment of Slavisa Orlovic as dean of the political science faculty, amidst longstanding sexual assault allegations against him. This move marks a significant moment of resistance in a country where traditional patriarchal norms often dominate.

Orlovic, who has been a subject of controversy for more than two decades, faces renewed scrutiny as his imminent dean candidacy at the University of Belgrade has prompted several women to come forward with their experiences on social media.

The student-led blockade of the university signals a determined plea for accountability, with protest organizers warning of sustained actions should Orlovic’s nomination receive approval from the Faculty Council, expected to conclude on Friday.

Jovana Krstic, a 28-year-old student and one of the protest organizers, expressed disillusionment with the faculty’s failure to uphold ethical standards, signaling a profound breach of trust within the academic community.

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Orlovic has previously been at the center of harassment complaints, including a notable case in 2014 by a female student during his tenure as vice dean. Despite his subsequent removal from the position, the stated reason was a lack of satisfactory cooperation with the faculty administration, rather than addressing the allegations directly.

The Women’s Solidarity collective, an informal group engaging in the discourse, has actively been sharing testimonies of students’ encounters with Orlovic online, emphasizing the systemic nature of his alleged misconduct.

Current dean Dragan Simic has publicly sided with the protesters, expressing his dismay over the allegations. Highlighting his personal stake as the father of a daughter, Simic underscored the gravity of the situation and the collective shock within the academic community.

This incident not only illuminates the ongoing struggle against sexual harassment within educational institutions but also reflects a burgeoning movement demanding justice and safety in academic environments.

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