12.4 Harassment and bullying
Harassment and bullying can come in many forms. It can include persistent, undeserved
criticism, arbitrary or inconsistent demands, shouting, swearing, ridicule or humiliation.
undermines a person’s self-confidence or self-esteem and makes the recipient feel
threatened, humiliated or patronised. Its defining features are:
(a) unwanted, offensive, intimidating or alarming behaviour
(b) causing a person distress, or creating a working environment of which a reasonable
could justifiably complain.
It is important to note that harassment may amount to a criminal offence.
The College wishes to make it clear to all its members that any form of harassment or
bullying on any grounds, but particularly on grounds of race, gender, or sexual
orientation, is unacceptable.
Any junior member of the College who believes him/herself to be a victim of sexual or
other harassment should not hesitate to discuss the matter with his/her Tutor, or any
other Tutor or Fellow, the College Nurse or the Chaplain, or the relevant officers of the
J.C.R.S. or M.C.R.S. Reports or complaints involving solely junior members will be
passed on for consideration to a monitoring Group consisting of the Senior Tutor,
a female Fellow, a male Fellow and another Tutor not involved with the junior member(s)
concerned, the three members of the Group other than the Senior Tutor being chosen by
the Head of House. The Head of House may also invite a person with suitable
professional expertise from outside the College to be a member of the Group. The
Group will investigate and discuss complaints. It is hoped that many problems will be
resolved at this level.
If not, then the Monitoring Group may refer the case to the Board of Discipline (see
above 12.2). Confidentiality will be respected whenever possible, although it must be
realized that this will become increasingly difficult the further a case proceeds.
Reports or complaints concerning a Senior Member will be passed to an
There shall be two Ombudspersons, one male and one female, and they will be senior
members of the University and will be appointed annually by the College Council; they
shall be external to and independent of the College. Complaints of harassment by a
Senior Member may be made by any senior or junior member of the College or the
College Nurse to any Tutor, Director of Studies, Fellow of the College, the College Nurse
or the Welfare or Women's Officer of the J.C.R. or M.C.R., who may refer the matter to
one of the Ombudspersons. The College
Council shall give the Ombudspersons jurisdiction to investigate complaints made
against senior members of the College; they will be given powers to conciliate and settle
them wherever possible. The method of investigation which the Ombudspersons will use
will be left entirely to their discretion, but the subject of any complaint shall have the right
to hear the substance of any allegation against them and to respond before the
Ombudsperson takes any action. The Ombudspersons will act with the complete
authority of the College Council behind them. In each and every case the
Ombudspersons shall report the outcome of their enquiries to the Master or Vice-Master
as they think fit. The Master or Vice-Master will then bring the matter
before the College Council if they believe it is appropriate or necessary. The procedures
for disciplinary action (in terms of suspension or removal) concerning Fellows are
governed by Statute 13 and Statute 20.3. The Master will have responsibility for
ensuring that all those involved in any complaint are fully aware of the outcome of these
Reports or complaints concerning harassment by non-Members of the College (e.g.
external Directors of Studies or Supervisors) will be referred to the Monitoring Group,
which will take appropriate action. Reports or complaints concerning harassment by or of
members of the College staff shall be referred to the Bursar, as the appropriate Officer.
All College members are reminded that any offence of a criminal nature may be taken to
the police for investigation. It is hoped that most problems can be solved within the
guidelines described above, but any junior or senior member is at liberty to bring an
alleged offence to the notice of the civil authorities at any time and the College reserves
the right to decide that an alleged offence is of such seriousness that it would be unwise
to investigate without informing the police.