Statement on Heriot-Watt University’s response to the Kevin O’Gorman case

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Heriot-Watt University Student Union has been working closely with our university to assist students affected by the recent case involving Kevin O’Gorman. We fully support the university in the way it responded to the allegations made against Kevin O’Gorman, however it is now vital that lessons are learned.

We welcome today’s announcement by Heriot-Watt University to launch an independent QC led inquiry as an important step in healing the wounds caused by Kevin O’Gorman. This inquiry must be given complete and independent access to the university so that it can establish the facts.

Kevin O’Gorman’s victims deserve to know how such a person was permitted to hold such a position of trust for so long in not one, but two prestigious universities. The Student Union will continue to work with the university and support our students to get these answers. When more is known, we will make sure that concrete action is taken from the lessons learned.

Students who have been affected by the Kevin O’Gorman case are encouraged to seek support from the university or visit our Advice Hub.

Rahul Singh, President said:

“Strathclyde University must answer for its failings to protect not only its own students, but our students as well. Strathclyde’s use of NDA’s to silence victims of Kevin O’Gorman has allowed him to continue his sexual abuse of students for many years.

Heriot-Watt University has a reputation of being a safe and welcoming place to study. We are appalled at the cover up which took place at Strathclyde that allowed Mr O’Gorman to take up employment at Heriot-Watt. We must ensure that all parties involved are held accountable for their actions in the harm caused to our students.”

Aoife Clarke, Vice President Wellbeing said:

“We will be working with the university to improve mechanisms to support students once they report any incident of harassment, abuse or any unwanted sexual conduct. Working in partnership with the university, we will help the university to implement a system which empowers students to report incidents, and ensure that students have support from reporting to the final outcome."

ENDS
For interviews please contact the Student Union office on 0131 451 5333

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