Zero Tolerance Policy

The Students’ Representative Council adopted Zero Tolerance Policy in September 2013.

The Students’ Representative Council adopted Zero Tolerance Policy in September 2013.

The Student’s Association shall enforce a strict zero tolerance policy to harassment and bullying, as defined below.

The policy shall protect all members, visitors, and staff in all Students’ Association venues.

Definition of Harassment: Unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior of any kind that is unwanted, unreasonable and offensive to the recipient and violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Types of harassment that can occur in “The Union” include but are not limited to:

  • Race, ethnic origin, nationality or skin colour
    • Racial Harassment:
      • Derogatory name-calling, insults
      • Reference to skin colour
      • Racist jokes
      • Ridicule for cultural difference
      • Verbal abuse and assault.
  • Gender and/or sexual orientation
    • Sexual Harassment:
      •  Unwanted sexual comments (including but not limited to comments about your body or private life).
      • Unwelcome sexual invitations, innuendos, and offensive gestures.
      • Wolf whistling, catcalling or offensive sexual noises.
      • Groping, pinching or smacking of your body, such as your bottom or chest.
      • Having any item of your clothing lifted, tugged, removed or altered without your consent.
      • Someone exposing their sexual organs to you without consent.
      • Biting
      • Any other form of unwanted behaviour with a sexual or gender element
    • Sexual Orientation Harassment:
      • Homophobic jokes or remarks
      • Threats to disclose sexual orientation
      • Ridiculing civil partnerships or same-sex couples.
    • Gender Reassignment Harassment:
      • Ridiculing dress and personal appearance
      • Offensive jokes and remarks
  • Religious or political convictions
    • Religion or Belief Harassment:
      • Offensive remarks and jokes, ridiculing religious beliefs, practices, and dress.
  • Disabilities, illness, sensory impairments or learning difficulties
    • Disability Harassment:
    • Not recognising competencies
    • Drawing attention to disability or personal appearance
    • Jokes
    • Ignoring or focussing on a person because of their disability
  • Age
    • Ageist Harassment:
      • Denigrating competencies
      • Patronising
      • Ridiculing
      • Marginalising
      • Leaving people out of social activities.
  • Socioeconomic status
    • Status Harassment:
      • Patronising, ostracising or marginalising people with different social or economic backgrounds

The above list of examples is not exclusive or exhaustive; harassment can occur on the basis of any personal attribute that makes the individual different from the majority, or from the person who harasses them.

 

Definition of Bullying: is a form of harassment characterized by the abuse of power or position to undermine a person so that their confidence and self-esteem is weakened or destroyed. Bullying may happen in public or in private, may arise from the personal style of the bully, and attacks may be irrational, unpredictable and unfair.

The policy defines a practical plan for investigating claims of sexual harassment, a clear set of consequences for those found to be guilty of such complaints, and strategies to help each victim of harassment. It also serves as a preventative step; as a result of the policy, security guards and bar staff will be trained in how to prevent sexual assault within the Students’ Association, as well as how to recognize its precursory signs. Posters, beer mats, and stickers are used to further the policy's effectiveness throughout the Students’ Association. 

If you would like to report an incident of sexual harassment or any other sort of discrimination within the Students’ Association, contact any member of staff or email union@st-andrews.ac.uk.

 

Zero Tolerance Policy Across St Andrews

In addition to the policy's use within the Students’ Association, it's also alive and well throughout the town. The SRC is leading an effort, begun in April 2014, to encourage town institutions to adopt the Students’ Association Zero Tolerance Policy as their own.

This effort will be continued throughout the academic year 2015-16, and we would love your help!  If you're interested in helping out, please contact Alice Lecointe, the SRC Member for Gender Equality, on all5@.

 

Additional Documents

  • Students' Representative Council Motion Regarding a Zero Tolerance on Harassment and Bullying in the Students’ Association (PDF)
  • Zero Tolerance Policy Guidelines for Staff (PDF)