What you have told us and what we have done
Since October 2018, students and others have been able to make an online report to the University on issues such as sexual and racial harassment. There are two ways of reporting: one is “report to an adviser”, where you leave your contact details and someone will respond to you to provide information and support, and the other is to report anonymously.
By 2 December 2020, we had received 42 reports, mostly from female students. Of those, 18 were “report to an adviser”. These included reports of sexual violence and/or physical violence by one student against another. We take these concerns very seriously. The reporting students were contacted by a Welfare Adviser to offer support,including support to report to the police (either formally or anonymously) if that’s what the reporting student wanted, as well as signposting and referrals to specialised support agencies.
In some cases, the University has also been able to take disciplinary action. This will depend on:
- the nature of the incident (for example, we must be able to identify who is responsible for the behaviour and they must be a current student) and
- whether the subject of the behaviour is willing to provide evidence.
Students are sometimes reporting concerns about something that happened to a friend – we can offer support, but we can’t take disciplinary action based on second-hand information. One exception is where there is clear evidence, such as a racist posting on social media: in such a case, it may be possible to take disciplinary action even if we do not know who made the report.
24 reports were anonymous. The issues raised were similar to those in the “report to an adviser” category. Again, in a number of cases, the person is reporting concerns about what happened to another student. Because we don’t have contact details, we can’t respond to offer support, and we won’t usually be able to take disciplinary action. If you want us to take disciplinary action, please use the “report to an adviser” form of reporting. Anonymous reporting is mainly to allow us understand where problems are happening, and it helps us adapt our preventative initiatives such as awareness-raising and training.
We appreciate the courage of those who have shared their experiences with us. If you would like support or other direct follow-up by the University, please do use the “report to an adviser” so that we can send you a response. The adviser can help you to make an informed decision about what you want to do next.