As members of the student community, we all have a responsibility to consider the impact of our behaviour on other people, and not to cause unreasonable offence or distress. Anyone who feels offended or upset by another person’s behaviour (even if it was unintentional) also has the right to ask for that behaviour to stop. Occasionally, the level of seriousness of behaviour or conduct may mean that the Police become involved.
Raising a concern about someone’s behaviour or conduct can be difficult and stressful for both parties involved – the person making the complaint and the person who the complaint is about.
Advice and support are available for everyone involved in such situations - whatever the circumstances, you are not on your own.
If you have been accused of something, no assumptions or decisions will be made until the issue has been investigated and both parties have had a fair opportunity to give their side of events. Occasionally, measures might need to be taken to limit interactions between individuals or the University based on assessed risks. This does not imply any guilt and is simply to allow an investigation to take place. Where possible, concerns are dealt with informally in the first instance.
Whether you think you have acted rightly or wrongly, you may find the following points useful to consider:
● Is your understanding of the Student Code of Conduct up to date?
● Do you have a clear understanding of the types of behaviour which might be seen to constitute sexual harassment, bullying, hate crime etc?
● Are you familiar with the likely next steps in an investigation? See <link> for information about what happens after a report is made
● What support do you need to access?
Sources of Support for Students
● Central Welfare and Guidance, Student Support Services. This team supports any student experiencing personal difficulties that are significantly impacting on their university experience and ability to study. Contact details and further information can be found on the CWAG webpage.
● Student Advice Centre, Students’ Union. A professional, impartial, confidential and non-judgemental service, providing advice, support and representation to help students resolve their problems. Contact details and further information can be found on their webpages.
● Personal Tutor/Departmental Welfare Staff. Particularly if your studies are being affected, you may want to disclose to staff in your department what has happened in order to receive advice and support.
● In cases where there is - or may be - Police involvement, you may need to seek professional or legal advice
● Samaritans. Provide services based on listening without judgement. Call 116 123 or www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/