With the new regulations being added to the Codes of Conduct, there’s still a question on whether or not these protocols have been communicated correctly amongst staff and students.
Reporter: Lateefa Farah | Sub-Editor: Toby Sinbad
The Student Union Bar is a safe space where students come to feel free whilst enjoying a drink or two, accompanied by a pizza with some cheesy nachos on the side. But how safe does the SU Bar become if it hasn’t received any protocols from the Student Union headquarters, on what to do when someone files a complaint on being sexually harassed.
On Friday, Universities UK, the umbrella for universities around the United Kingdom, modified the Codes of Conduct when dealing with sexual harassments cases on campus. The change was initiated after an alarming rate of sexual harassment complaints were shed light on at universities.
The Voice of London took the initiative of talking to the assistant manager at the Harrow SU Bar on how they dealt with sexual harassment complaints,
“I’ve been working at the SU Bar for two months and haven’t been told the universities protocols in dealing with sexual harassment. I make sure to tell my staff members that if they do see anything happen or get any complaints from students that they should come to me, and from there we would get the police involved.”
Although, according the David Shacklady, director of student affairs, the student union has its’ own Bye Laws separate to the university since it’s a different organisation. Something many students, including myself aren’t aware of. He continued to note that if there were any incidents to be reported, that it would be “escalated to the University.” Which would then proceed towards an incident form being filled out for the Dean of Faculty to investigate. But is that really enough?
Something that lacks about these policy and procedures is whether they actually inform students and staff on how to deal with sexual harassment cases. In the modified version of the Code of Conduct it presents a diagram of what happens in these incidents, and the discipline that comes with it.
We tried to get in contact with the students unions on whether or not these disciplinary actions do take place, and whether not it’s actually being talked about within their staff inductions. Unfortunately, there was no luck in getting contact with the student services, after being bounced around from connection call to another. In addition, we must now question how accessible are these policies for students on the university campus? How does a student know who to talk to? Is it the student union or is it the student advice centre?
If you’re a student that has experience difficulty in getting contact with the university regarding a sexual harassment incident, let us know your stories.