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Reference code: 
UP1407
Status: 
Lapsed
Date passed: 
28/10/2014
Date lapses: 
27/10/2016
PDF file: 
Text file: 

This Union notes

  1. That UCLU has had a policy of Zero Tolerance towards sexual harassment since 11.12.2012 and that this policy lapses in December 2014.[1]
  2. That the Hidden Marks report, published in March 2010 by the NUS Women’s Campaign, revealed that 68% of women students had experienced sexual harassment while a student at their current institution. Many women students reported experiencing persistent harassment in pubs and at club nights of the type held by many unions, both on and off university grounds.[2]
  3. The NUS Lad Culture and Sexism Survey recently revealed that one in four students (26%) - and 37% per cent of women had experienced non-consensual groping and touching. Two thirds of respondents said they had been aware of students putting up with unwanted sexual comments, with just under one third bearing witness to verbal harassment because of a student’s gender.[3]
  4. That sexual harassment is any unwanted and/or persistent behaviour of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Unwanted sexual comments (including comments about someone’s body or private life).
    2. Unwelcome sexual invitations, innuendos, and offensive gestures.
    3. Wolf whistling, catcalling, or offensive sexual noises.
    4. Groping, pinching or smacking someone’s body.
    5. Tugging, pulling or lifting up someone’s clothing.
    6. Exposure of sexual organs.
    7. Stalking.
  5. That the Women’s Officer created a Zero Tolerance pledge for UCLU clubs and societies at the beginning of the academic year and, at the time of writing, 146 clubs and societies have signed up.
  6. That UCL will only discipline students who have sexually harassed other students if the incident has been reported to the police.

This Union believes

  1. That all members of UCLU - regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation - should be able to take part in our activities and use our services free from the fear of sexual harassment, as defined in Notes 2.
  2. No student at UCL should be forced to tolerate sexual harassment, and that action must be taken to ensure that all students are able to enjoy the University, Union and any events these institutions run without experiencing sexual harassment.
  3. That sexual harassment should not be tolerated by UCLU, and those who commit acts of sexual harassment should be stopped and disciplined for their actions.
  4. That everyone has a responsibility to make our Union and our University a safe space for all students and staff.
  5. That there are a myriad of reasons why a student might not want to report their experiences to the police.
  6. That UCL disciplinary procedures for cases of sexual harassment are inadequate.

This Union resolves

  1. To never tolerate sexual harassment in any of our spaces or at any of our events.
  2. To publicise the Zero Tolerance policy with a double-page spread in the Welcome Packs which are sent out to students at the beginning of the year. This should include information on reporting sexual harassment.
  3. To ensure that the Zero Tolerance posters are displayed in all of our spaces including, but not limited to, our cafes, bars and meeting rooms.
  4. To communicate this policy to external venues where we hold UCLU events and to ensure that a copies of the Zero Tolerance poster are put up in these venues on the nights we hold our events.
  5. To offer training to frontline staff at UCLU as well as the presidents and treasurers of clubs and societies.
  6. To offer consent workshops and active bystander workshops to any student who wishes to participate in them.
  7. To ensure that security staff who work at UCLU are informed of this policy and are aware that they have the power to remove harassers from our spaces.

This Union mandates

  1. The Women’s Officer to research UCL’s reporting procedures and, working with the Women’s Network, develop some suggestions to take to the University.
  2. The Women’s Officer to develop Zero Tolerance training sessions for: frontline staff at UCLU and Presidents and Treasurers of UCLU clubs and societies (to be delivered as part of the compulsory clubs and societies training).
  3. The Women’s Officer to work with the UCLU Halls & Accommodation Representative to expand the Zero Tolerance campaign to UCL Halls of Residence.
  4. The Democracy and Communications Officer to inform students of the renewal of the Zero Tolerance policy in the weekly all-student email.
  5. The Democracy and Communication Officer and the Women’s Officer to oversee the distribution of Zero Tolerance posters in UCLU spaces and at UCLU events.

[1] http://uclu.org/policy/up1216/zero-tolerance-policy-on-sexual-harassment

[2] http://www.nus.org.uk/Global/NUS_hidden_marks_report_2nd_edition_web.pdf

[3] http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/universities-must-unite-to-beat-lad-culture-sexism-on-campus-claims-nus-9734198.html