The medical school and the students’ union are committed to a working and learning environment that is free from intimidation, and we will not tolerate any form of bullying. Sexual and racial harassment are both forms of bullying, but it can also exist within gender and racial groups. It involves behaviour or communication which threatens or oppresses another.
Examples of bullying include:
making derogatory remarks
making insensitive jokes
insulting or aggressive behaviour
ignoring or excluding an individual
constantly undervaluing effort
Such behaviour can transform the study place into one that is dreaded. It produces an unpleasant atmosphere, can erode selfconfidence, undermine self-esteem and can lead to extreme forms of stress, absenteeism and, in a number of cases, depression.
Sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual attention, which emphasises sexual status over status as an individual, colleague or student. Anybody can be sexually harassed, but it is more commonly seen in women, inflicted by men. It can be physical, ranging from suggestive looks to indecent assault or rape; or verbal, ranging from belittling or suggestive remarks and compromising invitations to aggressively foul language or unwanted demands for sex.
Racial harassment may be defined as any hostile or offensive act or expression by a person of one racial or ethnic origin against a person of another, or incitement to commit such an act. Such behaviour includes derogatory name calling, insults, racist jokes, racist graffiti, threatening behaviour, physical attack and ridicule of an individual for cultural differences.
If you feel that you are being subjected to any form of bullying, (by other students or by staff) you do not have to tolerate it. Always remember, it is not your fault and you are fully justified in seek advice and help. Sometimes a swift, clear indication that the behaviour is objectionable may be enough to ensure that it is not repeated, particularly if the person involved had not intended to be offensive. If you do not feel able to tackle the person concerned directly, this does not constitute consent and will not prejudice any complaint you may bring. There may be good reasons why you may choose not to speak directly to the person against whom you have a complaint, especially if they are in a position of authority.
If you do become aware of discrimination/ harassment, whether victim or observer, there are a number of people you can speak to who are better able to deal with them and who can offer some advice:
Lauren Wellburn: SGSU Vice President (Education & Welfare) 0208 725 0451 (x0451)
Matt Owen: SGSU President 0208 725 2709
Your year rep
Kea Horvers (Equality and Diversity Officer) 020 8725 0605 (x0605)
Dignity Advisers Scheme
Dignity advisers are able to offer impartial advice and support to any individual who approaches them. This advice is unrelated to their usual role within the organisation. AlI dignity advisers have been fully trained to the same standard and can offer support and advice on both staff and student issues.
Advice is offered in confidence. Usually the dignity advisor will not take action following an informal approach concerning bullying or harassment without the express permission of the individual concerned - unless the allegations are very serious.
It is important to recognise that dignity advisers are not involved in any decision making concerning the individual’s situation. Neither do they represent individuals. Instead they are available to discuss the situation facing a member of staff or a student and can talk through the options available.
We will respond promptly to any individual who asks for help. Dignity advisers will respond to any individual who makes contact, within 24 hours of the request to set up the first appointment. The individual will then be seen by the DA within 5 working days.
We have recruited a current senior manager as a new dignity advisor and advertised his membership of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) staff network group. This provide an extra reporting route via the LGBT staff network group.
Additionally, the LGBT student society president also attends the LGBT staff engagement group to act represent LGBT issues which may affect both staff and students.
Please contact our equality and diversity manager for more information about dignity advisors at St George's.
Tel: 020 8725 0605
George’s has strict bullying and harassment policies and it is important that students are aware that bullying and harassment are NOT tolerated at St. George’s. Remember that any discussions will be confidential and no further action will be taken without your permission. For more information regarding this, please visit SGUL's Bullying and Harassment online resource.