Melis Layik
Melis Layik speaks at the Q&A panel on Oct. 1, 2018 YouTube/abcqanda

Mannix College has responded to a former student’s accusation that it did nothing when she reported multiple times the harassment she suffered from a fellow student. Melis Layik, 19, who was asked to share her story at the ABC’s Q&A panel on Monday, said the Catholic residential college, an affiliate of Monash University, ignored her assault complaints.

Layik told the panel that a male student, aided by two more, climbed her second-storey room in the middle of the night and threw raw meat at her. The men knew she was a vegan, hence the meat assault.

“I went to the college numerous times, and each time, they did nothing about it. And in fact, they made me feel like I was making a big deal out of this and that I was seeking attention or something like that,” she said.

“[The college] said to me, ‘This matter has been resolved,’ and I said, ‘What do you mean? Nothing has happened, he’s had no repercussions for his actions.’”

She moved out and left college two weeks after the incident and the staff ignored her complaints.

The college’s principal, Sean Brito-Babapulle, responded in a statement, saying appropriate action had been taken and the matter was fully investigated. It apparently ensured that the student in question did not return to the college in 2018.

“Mannix College’s position regarding assault and harassment is one of zero tolerance,” he said.

Layik didn’t buy the principal’s statement, though, calling it “ridiculous.”

“They’ve never openly condemned what did occur or said, ‘Hey, we made a mistake, we made a grave mistake here,’” she was quoted by the ABC as saying.

Layik added that institutions like Mannix College were run by people who preferred to protect the future interests of young men rather than ruin their reputation.

“They need to care about their students, not their reputation, or not the profit they might lose if these young men leave and their families are outraged.”