Chester Students' Union is strongly opposed to any form of bullying, and our Advice Centre is on hand to help support anyone who feels bullied or harassed during their time at University, providing support on what steps to take. Bullying and harassment are never okay.
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour. Usually, bullying creates an imbalance of power, leaving the bullied person feeling vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. It may be instigated by one or more individuals, towards one or more individuals. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
Bullying can take many forms including:
If you are being bullied, you may wish to follow one of the steps offered below to challenge this behaviour, or otherwise meet with an advisor to create a plan to ensure this pattern of behaviour stops. Our advice team can provide guidance if you feel a situation is affecting you academically, and you can also access support through the University Wellbeing team if you feel it is affecting your mental health.
Harassment is when someone behaves in a way which offends you or makes you feel distressed or intimidated. This could be abusive comments or jokes, graffiti or insulting gestures. Harassment is a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. It can happen on its own or alongside other forms of discrimination. Harassment may interfere with an individual's learning, working or social environment.
Unwanted behaviour could be:
Harassment may involve sexual harassment or be related to a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Some forms of harassment are considered a Hate Crime. A hate incident or crime is any act of violence or hostility against a person or property that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person due to a particular protected characteristic. Find out more on hate crime [here].
It is important to seek help and support if you are experiencing any form of bullying. You can speak to your family and friends and get their help and support in getting the bullying to stop.
You may want to speak to someone at the university informally first, this could be your residential tutor(hall warden), PAT, Students' Union Advisor, University Wellbeing Advisor or any member of staff you feel comfortable with.
If you feel able to, you can speak to the person who is doing the bullying and ask them to stop as this is causing you distress, and you want to be able to concentrate on your work and not dealing with this form of behaviour. It is important not to take this form of action if you feel unsafe or unsure as they may not be receptive to this and it could make their behaviour worse.
You have the right to make a formal complaint to the University. Once the bullying is reported, a full investigation will be undertaken and disciplinary action may be taken against the bully. You can also get a copy of the Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying policy, and Complaint Procedure from the University.
If you are being bullied or intimidated, the University is obligated to safeguard your interests so that you can learn and enjoy your time in a safe, respectful environment.