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Reference code: 
UP1605
Status: 
Current
Date passed: 
01/11/2016
Date lapses: 
31/10/2018
PDF file: 
Lead Officer Role: 
Women’s Officer
Text file: 
Lead officer: 

This Union notes

  1. That UCLU has had a policy of Zero Tolerance towards sexual harassment since 11/12/2012, and that the most recent iteration of this policy lapses in October 2016
  2. The Hollaback ULU report states that 34% of UCL respondents said they had personally experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence, and that students who were BME and/or LGBT+ were more likely to personally experience and to witness sexual harassment or sexual violence. Policy matters arising UC13x3 (1)
  3. 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. Policy matters arising UC1304 (2)
  4. 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.
  5. That sexual harassment is any unwanted and/or persistent behaviour of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to:
    1. Sexual comments (including comments about someone’s body, or rating attractiveness)
    2. Sexual invitations, innuendos, or demands
    3. Wolf whistling, catcalling, or offensive sexual noises
    4. Groping, pinching, smacking, or assault
    5. Pulling or lifting up someone’s clothing
    6. Exposure of sexual organs or sexual gestures
    7. Stalking
  6. That past Women’s Officers have written and presented a paper on challenging sexual violence to UCL senior management, made recommendations to UCL, and helped draw up an action plan for UCL to carry out in a timely manner.
  7. That 46 departments have signed the Zero Tolerance pledge this year, and in the academic year 2015/16, 44 departments signed the pledge leading to 2,230 students participating in active bystander workshops delivered by UCLU.
  8. That UCL committed to take a zero tolerance stance to sexual harassment in January 2016, and has since been working in conjunction with UCLU to put into practice our proposed action plan for combating sexual harassment and sexual violence.

This Union believes

  1. That no student at UCL should be forced to tolerate sexual harassment or sexual violence and that every member of UCLU – regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, manner of dress, etc. – should be able to take part in university life free from the fear of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as defined in Notes 5
  2. That sexual harassment should not be tolerated by UCLU, and those who perpetrate sexual harassment or sexual violence should be stopped and disciplined for their actions
  3. That everyone has a responsibility to make our Union and our University a safe space for all students and staff.
  4. That UCL should be doing more to make campus a safer space for everyone.
  5. That UCL should be doing more to fulfil their duties as set out in the Zero Tolerance action plan, including communicating to heads of departments that they should all be signing up to the UCLU departmental pledge.

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 via an all-student email, and to inform staff of its renewal.
  3. To ensure that Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment posters are displayed in all of our spaces, including, but not limited to, our cafes, bars, meeting and social spaces.
  4. To extend this policy to external venues where UCLU events are held, and to communicate the policy to the venue organisers, where known.
  5. To offer training to all frontline staff, including student staff and student-facing careers staff, on how to support and implement the Zero Tolerance policy in the Union
  6. To educate frontline staff on racialised, LGB+-focused, and transphobic forms of sexual harassment, as part of the training (see Resolves 5)
  7. To continue to encourage departments to sign up to the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment pledge annually
  8. In relation to Resolves 7, to organise active bystander workshops for first year students of signatory departments.
  9. To ensure security staff who work at UCLU are informed of this policy and are aware that they have the power to remove perpetrators from our spaces.
  10. To deliver Zero Tolerance training to presidents and treasurers of UCLU clubs and societies as part of compulsory C&S training.

This Union mandates

  1. The Women’s Officer to oversee distribution of posters and flyers to UCLU spaces & events
  2. The Education and Campaigns Officer and Women’s Officer to work with UCL to produce training for personal tutors on receiving disclosures of harassment, helping a student report an incident, and signposting.
  3. The Women’s Officer to oversee, and work with UCL on, the carrying out of the Zero Tolerance action plan that was agreed in January 2016.