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We all have a responsibility to make our University a safe space

Student’s Union UCL does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, this is why the union and UCL have joined forces to run the Zero Tolerance campaign and is working to tackle these problems at a grassroots level. 

What is sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term for any misconduct of a sexual nature, including sexual harassment. When we talk about sexual harassment, we often have a very narrow definition of what it might involve. Sexual harassment is not just about physical touching or groping - the term can also be applied to any unwanted and persistent behaviour of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct is often perpetrated against an individual without their consent or where there is a power imbalance. 

Sexual misconduct therefore includes but is not limited to:

  • Unwanted sexual comments (including comments about someone’s body or private life).
  • Unwelcome sexual invitations, innuendos, and offensive gestures.
  • Wolf whistling, catcalling, or offensive sexual noises.
  • Groping, pinching or smacking someone’s body.
  • Tugging, pulling or lifting up someone’s clothing.
  • Exposure of sexual organs.
  • Demands for sexual acts/favours.
  • Stalking.

What are we doing to tackle sexual misconduct?

Since 2012 the union has had a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment policy, which means we do not tolerate sexual misconduct in any of our spaces, or at any of our events. We are also committed to changing the culture that upholds such behaviour and do this through a number of ways:

  • We offer active bystander sessions to all incoming students in signatory departments, giving students the skills they need to challenge harassment when they witness it
  • We offer training to all front line staff, including student staff and student-facing careers staff, on how to support and implement the Zero Tolerance policy in the Union
  • We deliver Zero Tolerance training to presidents and treasurers of union clubs and societies as part of compulsory clubs and societies training
  • We passed an amendment to our governing documents to employ a new position within the Advice Service where part of the job description would be to handle SU complaints and support survivors of sexual violence
  • We work closely with UCL departments giving guidance on how to create a zero tolerance environment
  • To ensure security staff who work at the union are informed of this policy and have the power to remove perpetrators from our spaces

Reporting sexual misconduct 

Information for students

Information for departments

Project Lead:

Sinéad Booth, Community Change Manager - Students’ Union UCL

Sabbatical Lead:

Women’s Officer