Our Harassment and Bullying Policy

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Harassment and Bullying Policy

(Subject to revision by the College Trustees)

What constitutes harassment?

What constitutes harassment?

Racial harassment is any intimidating, hostile or offensive act or expression by a person of one racial or ethnic origin against a person of another, which behaviour is so perceived by that other person and would be regarded as racial harassment by any reasonable person.

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention towards one person by another who knows or ought to know that behaviour is unwanted, which behaviour would be regarded as sexual harassment by any reasonable person.

Any intimidating, hostile or offensive act or expression directed against a person on account of the actual or perceived sexuality of that person is also harassment.

Any intimidating, hostile or offensive act or expression towards a disabled person based on or relating to that person’s disability.

Where the person responsible for the harassment is in a position of authority over or has responsibility for the person harassed that will be regarded as a seriously aggravating feature of the case.

What constitutes bullying?

What constitutes bullying?

Bullying is a form of psychological harassment; it is intimidation, which serves to undermine the self-esteem, confidence, competence, effectiveness and integrity of the bully’s target.

Bullying behaviour may include continual undeserved criticism, belittling remarks, imposition of unreasonable deadlines, unreasonable demands for perfection, arbitrary and inconsistent demands, shouting, swearing and offensive language, constant interruption in discussion, and the display of overbearing or intrusive behaviour. Bullying behaviour may also be manifested by electronic means of communication such as e-mail.

Bullying is behaviour which may take place between those of different status or those of the same status. Bullying when reinforced by power within a relationship is particularly reprehensible.

Behaviour which makes the recipient threatened, humiliated or patronised and which undermines his or her self-confidence or self-esteem is unacceptable, whatever the context.

The defining features of bullying are that the behaviour is unacceptable to the recipient, is unwanted by the recipient, and would be regarded as bullying by reasonable people.

What to do if harassed or bullied

What to do if harassed or bullied

If you are subject to any behaviour which you find unacceptable or which causes you distress, you should not feel that it is your fault or that you have to tolerate it. Do not hesitate to contact someone about an incident which has occurred only once, if you are concerned about it. Nor should you be deterred from making a complaint by fear of embarrassment, intimidation or publicity. You can seek advice or help in the following ways. Talk about the problem with a friend or some other person whose judgement you trust.

The following people may be able to help: other members of the Hall (in particular any specially nominated members, such as the Archdeacon or staircase leaders), the Chaplain, your Tutor or some other Staff Member to whom you feel you can relate (and in particular, perhaps, one who is of the same sex as you), and the Principal (though, because he is the primary disciplinary officer, he may have to refer you, with your permission, to another person or Staff Member). Any of these people could advise you on a course of action or take the matter up on your behalf. They may suggest ways of resolving the problem of which you have not thought. Confidentiality will be respected and further action will not be taken without your permission.

It may be that behaviour which you find unacceptable or which causes you distress is not intended or understood to have that effect. If you feel able to make it clear to the person causing you offence that such behaviour on that person’s part is unacceptable to you, this may be sufficient to stop it. Harassment that continues after a clear warning (either from you or from someone else on your behalf) is for that reason a more serious offence. You should note the date on which the person causing you offence was warned and if the matter is not resolved in what you regard as a reasonable time (e.g. a week) you should not hesitate to take the steps set out in the next paragraph.

If it appears that the matter is unlikely to be resolved informally, or if the harassment or bullying is of a serious nature, you may wish to make a formal complaint which will lead to the initiation of disciplinary procedures (for which, see the Disciplinary Procedure). A complaint of this sort should be addressed to the Principal either directly or through a Staff member. You may be helped or accompanied in making such a complaint by any person whom you find supportive. It may be useful in such a case to have kept a note of details and dates of any relevant incidents which have caused you distress, and of your response to them. The Principal will outline to you the possibilities of further action.

In any case of harassment or bullying, in addition to the help referred to above, which is available from within the College, the following outside organisations may be able to offer advice and help: