Staff and student focus groups to tackle misogyny, harassment and hate crime — new dates and online feedback form

*Article updated on Wednesday 2 August 2018 with details of new focus group dates and online feedback form*

Additional places are now available for staff and students to participate in a new project to better understand the nature and extent of sexual misconduct both on- and off-campus.

The confidential staff and student focus groups will help understand the nature and prevalence of unreported misogyny, harassment and hate crime and inform new approaches by the University of Nottingham to tackle them.

The focus groups will be held at the following dates and locations. To book a place in confidence, please email Lorna Lord, Head of HR Business Partnering at lorna.lord@nottingham.ac.uk.

  • 9am-10:30am, Tuesday 18 September:LG14, Trent Building, University Park
  • 2:30pm-4pm, Tuesday 18 September: A108, Clinical Sciences, Nottingham City Hospital
  • 10am-11:30am, Wednesday 19 September: LG14 Trent, University Park
  • 3pm-4:30pm, Wednesday 19 September: A05, XuYafen Building, Jubilee Campus
  • 9:30am-11am, Thursday 20 September: 9A5, Medical School, QMC
  • 2pm-3:30pm, Thursday 20 September: C1, King’s Meadow Campus

Led by expert researchers from the University of Sussex’s Changing University Cultures team, the focus groups will offer a confidential safe space for participants to speak about their experiences in Nottingham. All discussion will be captured anonymously.

An online feedback form is also now available, providing staff and students with a further channel to share their experiences. All feedback shared via this channel will anonymously be incorporated in the research led by expert researchers from the University of Sussex’s Changing University Cultures (CHUCL) team. The brief of the CHUCL team is to explore issues including what it is like to work or study at Nottingham, how values shape relationships and what changes in practice to report and tackle misconduct would be helpful.

The online feedback service will be open to staff until Friday 21 September 2018.

Student groups have already started work to take further action on harassment and hate crime, including additional awareness-raising talks and sexual consent campaigns for students, as well as other opportunities to reinforce messaging and tackle myths and misconceptions.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said: “Misogyny, harassment and hate crime of any sort has no place in our University community or in wider society.

“It is imperative that staff and students feel safe at all times and I know that there has been a lot of hard work already in this area. Education and training are important, as is the provision we have in place to support anyone who is subject to harassment or hate crime.

“But there is more we can and must do and I hope that the measures announced today outline how seriously I take these issues, both personally and as Vice-Chancellor of this University.”

The Estates team is currently reviewing levels of night patrols and lighting around the campus to provide the safest possible environment for staff and students.

University staff and students are also reminded of existing awareness, safety and reporting initiatives in place at the University, for example: ‘Ask for Angela’, Let’s Be Clear on Consent and Stronger Together.

Bystander intervention training is delivered to key people including Welcome Mentors, Sports Club and Society committee members and Hall Tutors, and the Student Community website and video makes clear the standards of behaviour we expect as a University community.

Where incidents do occur, they can be reported in person to the University security team, welfare officers and hall wardens, or through harassment and hate crime webpages, email and mobile app. Offenders should be clear that they are likely to face criminal charges as well as sanctions under the student Disciplinary Code including expulsion from the University.

While reported instances of misogyny, harassment and hate crime remain low in number at the University, one is one too many, and it is hoped that these additional measures will support and reassure our University community, and underscore our positive culture.

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