Zero tolerance policy guidance

The Students’ Union is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone is able to participate freely. We have a Zero Tolerance policy which supports anyone who has experienced or witnessed sexual harassment, discrimination or violence. We promise to raise awareness of these issues and to respond appropriately to all reports.

What incidents come under the Zero Tolerance policy?

  • Harassment: Unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
  • Sexual harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive environment.
  • Discrimination: Treating someone less favourably than another person because of the protected characteristic that they have or are perceived to have, or their associations with someone who has a protected characteristic.
  • Sexual assault: A person commits sexual assault if they sexually touch another person without that person’s consent.
  • Physical assault
  • Threatening/abusive behaviour

This policy extends to online communication, communication by text, email and instant messages which are made through official and student media accounts and directly linked to content published by the Students’ Union.

How can I make a zero tolerance report?

Anyone can make a zero tolerance report to any of our front-line staff, including Union staff and full-time elected officers working in Falmer House, as well as Customer Service Assistants and Supervisors in our bars, who are able assist you to make a formal report, if you so choose.

Anyone can also report an incident online via our reporting tool. When using the reporting tool, please provide a brief overview of the incident and include only key information about what happened. We ask that you only provide key information because what you submit may be relevant if at any point this becomes a legal matter. The Students’ Union record and monitor all reported incidents of this nature through the online reporting tool. All data will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

If you wish to make an anonymous report, the Students’ Union will not be able to pursue formal complaint/disciplinary proceedings at this stage, but the incident will be logged in our records.

Report an incident

What will happen once I have made a report?

When a zero tolerance report is received, this will be forwarded for the responsible people to be considered. Any formal complaint concerning misconduct by a Union member, visitor, club, society or group is dealt with in accordance with the Students' Union discipline procedure.

The Union has the right to take immediate action to suspend a student where it is considered that this action is necessary to safeguard the member or others whilst an incident is being investigated. An officer will write to the accused member(s) outlining any action that has been taken.

The sanctions imposed on individuals or groups who breach this policy include indefinite removal of all of the privileges of membership of the Union. Alternatively, we may determine, with the consent of the complainant, that the nature of the complaint is sufficiently serious that the issue(s) should be referred to the University’s disciplinary procedures for investigation.

Support and Advice

If you have experienced, witnessed or been informed about an incident, and wish to receive support or advice about this, they can contact the University’s Student Life Centre.