What would you like the Union to do?

Observing the rate of sexual misconduct, it does not go without thought the bullying and harassment that also takes place on campus. It is our responsibility to ensure everyone is well aware of how to deal with these situations and what steps they can take to either prevent it, or what steps they can take to mitigate the consequences. This is why the Active Bystander course is an extremely important tool UCL has created which we can use to our advantage. As per the current number, only 4% of all UCL students have completed this course, an astonishingly low figure which needs to be increased for the improvement of students’ lives’ at University. Moreover, observing the high increase in sexual misconduct at UCL, especially during nights out in Scala for instance, the I Heart Consent module is an extremely important mechanism that can teach the basic core of consent.

Proposal: “Make compulsory for all Committee Members of societies, staff, and Society Presidents to complete and submit an Active Bystander certificate in order to be able to achieve their position once nominations have closed.” This can be addition to further information that provides them with resources on where to ask for help, emergency services they can contact, etc.

Why these courses?

  • The Active Bystander course perfectly encapsulates all the information required to know how to confidently (but safely) intervene in dangerous situations that include bullying and harassment.
  • It is easy, does not take up too much of your time. And is efficient in its teachings by making it interactive, applying real world examples making it thought provocative.
  • The I Heart Consent module should be taken by any student no matter their gender or age. Sexual harassment is a crisis we all face and so should be made to learn about consent.
  • Moreover as it is possible to track whether they have completed these courses, it will ensure and encourage everybody has done so, providing an incentive.

Why all students running for elections?

  • Being as these students running for elections are going to be future Society Presidents, Sports Officers, etc., they are going to be directing and influencing a large number of people who join their societies. It is vital that they themselves are equipped with the knowledge about such deep issues.
  • Through acquiring this knowledge they will be able to easily deal with any problems that come their way, and spot any potential problems.
  • Behaviours that are sidelined and sheltered by friends can be brought to light once everyone starts recognising this.
  • Because they have taken it, these society leaders can encourage all their members to also take these courses in order to join their society.

Why would you like to do this?

As observed in our previous policy (1), the numbers around issues of harassment and bullying are majorly prevalent at UCL.

  • Education about consent is important and needs to be talked about.
  • We need to provide our student community with safety. Moreover, as per the survey Jade and I have been conducting across UCL, we have found more than 80% of students are not aware of where to get support from if they experience gender-based violence. If more people begin to take the I Heart Consent and Active Bystander course, more will learn about useful resources like Report + Support. Effectively encouraging more help and support within the UCL community that we desperately need.

How will this affect students?

This policy would make students feel safer, knowing their Society Presidents and SU Officers care about their safety, and are equipped to deal with situations where they can guide them. It would encourage more and more people to complete these courses and reduce the overall increase in the trend of sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying on campus.