INDONESIA – Shockwaves reverberated through the University of Yogyakarta (UNY) community as allegations of sexual harassment involving a member of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) Student Executive Board (BEM) surfaced on social media.
The scandal emerged from a tweet posted on the @UNYmfs account, with a distressed female student revealing her ordeal as the purported victim.
In her tweet, the student expressed her disbelief at being treated poorly and subjected to harassment during her time as a freshman at UNY.
She narrated her encounter with a senior student she had met at a faculty event in February, believing him to be friendly. However, her tone changed as she accused the student of subjecting her to harassment from October until the present. The post has since been deleted. However, the post has been reposted by many accounts.
The distressed student also revealed that she had contemplated taking her own life due to the ongoing issue and claimed to have received threats of sexual violence if she did not comply with the perpetrator’s demands.
Although she did not mention the alleged perpetrator’s name, she included the student’s registration number (NIM) in her post, which led to speculation that MF, a member of BEM FMIPA UNY from the 2023 batch, was the person involved.
When contacted, UNY’s Public Relations Sub-Head, Sudaryono, stated that they had not received further information about the alleged sexual harassment case, which had gained attention on social media. However, he confirmed that an investigation was underway, carried out by the university’s student ethics committee.
Sudaryono said, “The case is still under investigation by the appropriate team.” Regarding the accuracy of the student identified by their NIM in the post, Sudaryono stated that they had no information on the matter, emphasizing that the investigation was ongoing.
Prof Guntur, the Secretary of the Directorate of Academic Affairs & Student Affairs at UNY, also confirmed that they had not received any reports from students or concerned parties regarding the viral allegations of sexual harassment involving the university.
He said, “UNY, especially in the Directorate of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, is still waiting for students to report to us. We have not received any reports from students or individuals claiming to be the complainant or victim.”
Ali Mahmudi, the Vice Dean for Planning, Finance, and Resources at FMIPA UNY, echoed similar sentiments. He emphasized that they were still seeking information about the veracity of the viral allegations of sexual harassment associated with UNY.
“Up to this point, we are still seeking information about it, and any policy decisions or follow-up actions must be based on valid information. The information obtained from social media cannot be used as a basis because it is indeed limited,” Ali said.
In response to the accusations, MF denied any wrongdoing and expressed feeling unjustly accused and defamed by the viral posts about the alleged sexual misconduct, which circulated on social media.
“I seek permission to clarify; I have not committed any sexual violence and have never engaged in any form of sexual violence against anyone,” MF stated during an interview on UNY’s campus.
The fifth-semester student voiced the immense damage the allegations had caused to his life, including people seeking his identity, hacking into his social media accounts, and even visiting his residence with threats of physical violence.
“I feel threatened by people who do not understand or think about the news (post) that has spread,” he added. “I am ready to take legal action, and I request the good intentions of the person making these accusations, as this has tarnished my reputation and spread everywhere,” he concluded.