University and SRC launch anti-bullying campaign

Published

fullstop

Nathan Stilwell
News Editor

The University of Glasgow and SRC have launched an anti-bullying and harassment campaign called “FullStop”, with the intention of highlighting the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy, which was approved by the the University Senate in February 2014.

The FullStop campaign consists of a web page with links to various help and support groups, posters spread around campus, and a social media campaign with the tag #UofGFullStop

Anton Muscatelli, the University’s principal and vice-chancellor, said on the FullStop campaign’s website: “Bullying and Harassment have absolutely no place in the University of Glasgow, and I, my colleagues in the senior management group, indeed all schools of institutes of university services are determined that we are going to tackle any behaviours that happen around Bullying and Harassment”.

The campaign highlights key services that both the SRC and the University provide, such as the Harassment Volunteer Network and the SRC Advice Centre.

Appendix B of the Dignity at Work and Study policy makes reference to the definitions of bullying and harassment, which includes “shouting and sarcasm” as examples of harassment or bullying.

Each week, the FullStop campaign releases a series of posters that are distributed online and around campus which they describe as “micro-fictions”, with captions such as “Your accent’s really amazing, Mr Patel, Said Jo. ‘Over the phone, like this, anyone would think you were Scottish”.

According to the University’s website: “The FullStop campaign is aimed at highlighting the University’s Dignity at Work and StudyPolicy, which has been in operation for several years.”. However, according the University of Glasgow’s equality and diversity policy website, the Dignity at Work and Study Policy was approved by Court on 12 February 2014 and by the Senate on 17 April 2014″.

Not all students, however, believe the FullStop campaign to be an appropriate use of resources. Andrew George Wilson, a third year Engineering student said: ” A vast majority of the student body are not bigots, they abhor disgusting behavior these posters portray. It shows a lack of trust on the University’s part when they feel the need to remind us, as responsible adults, of basic tolerance. This legislation will not put an end to actual bigotry and frankly, some of the wording within it [Appendix B of the University’s Dignity at Work and Study policy] where even actions such as ‘sarcasm’ are labelled as bullying is downright concerning”.

A spokesperson for the University told The Glasgow Guardian that the figures for “informal and formal complaints are very low. Cases raised with the University Harassment Volunteer Network at the initial/informal level have been falling steadily since 2011/12, and last year there were just three complaints made at the informal level and two cases investigated at the formal level.

“The University of Glasgow has promoted a policy of ‘Dignity at Work and Study’ for many years and has always supported staff and students in tackling harassment and bullying. A staff survey last year indicated that just four percent of staff thought harassment and bullying was an issue on campus; but a much higher percentage of staff were not aware of our Dignity at Work and Study policy. A working group made up of staff and members of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) set to work on designing a campaign to raise awareness, and the FullStop campaign, launched at the start of October is the result.”