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Zero Tolerance

Following a motion which passed through Guild Council last year titled ‘Becoming a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Union’ and stipulated the Guild should adopt a Zero Tolerance policy in regards to harassment in all Guild venues and events, the Guild has now been accredited as a Zero Tolerance Union by the National Union of Students (NUS).

The Guild, alongside the University of Birmingham, has chosen to expand upon the NUS campaign, ensuring the whole of campus takes a Zero Tolerance approach towards not only sexual harassment but all forms of harassment.

The Guild believes all harassment whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, medical condition, ethnicity, age, or any other characteristic perceived or actual should be challenged and not tolerated.


What is harassment?

Harassment is a pattern of behaviour that is unwelcome and has the effect of violating a person’s dignity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. The behaviour is usually persistent and continues over a period of time, although a one-off incident that is particularly serious can also amount to harassment.


If you feel you’re being harassed?

If you are being harassed or bullied you may feel that you are powerless to change the situation. However, there are a number of informal and formal options open to you. Firstly, the University’s Harassment Advice Service can help you think though these options. Which is appropriate will depend on your situation. Where possible and appropriate we recommend an informal approach be used first.

Whatever course of action you take, it’s a good idea to keep a written record of the behaviour for your future reference, including:

  • When and where the harassment or bullying takes place;
  • Details of the behaviour; and
  • Names of any witnesses to the behaviour.


The University’s Harassment Advice Service

The Harassment Advice Service is provided by trained, volunteer members of staff for the benefit of the University community. Harassment Advisers have volunteered their own time to the programme and are dedicated to making the University a safe and productive environment in which to work, study, and visit.

Harassment Advisers are here to assist any member of the University of Birmingham affected by harassment including staff, students, and visitors. The service they provide is completely confidential and allows members of the University to discuss their problems without recourse to formal University processes.

If you would like to book an appointment with a Harassment Adviser please telephone 0121 415 8774.