It can be very distressing if you have been accused of bullying, harassment, or sexual misconduct. It’s important to be aware that the university will not make assumptions and will not consider a person ‘at fault’ until an accusation has been investigated, although precautionary measures may be taken to protect students on both sides of a report. All those involved in a complaint will be treated fairly and offered advice and support.
It’s good practice to take time to reflect about the other person’s perception of your behaviour. Even if you feel that your behaviour was well-intentioned, your words or actions may have hurt or offended another person, and this may be thought of as an opportunity for learning, or perhaps for a change of approach.
• Listen carefully to the complaint and to the particular concerns expressed.
• Stop the behaviour that’s been complained about straight away; if you are deemed to have bullied or harassed somebody after their objection to your behaviour was made known to you, this will be seen as a more serious issue.
• You are likely to need advice and support to understand the complaint: find a way to discuss the matter with someone you trust, such as a manager or tutor, or someone identified by you or Student Support or HR to provide appropriate support.
• If you feel you are being unjustly accused, consider asking for mediation from HR or Student Services. Supported informal discussions involving you, the person alleging ill-treatment, and a trained mediator may enable you to discuss the issues and find a way forward.
What happens when something is reported?
When a report is made about a student or staff member, there are procedures that will be followed. The reporting party may wish to speak to a harassment advisor to discuss their options for informal or formal resolution.
If informal resolution is pursued then the reported person will be contacted by an appropriate manager, or tutor in the situation to try and resolve the matter.
If the matter proceeds formally, the reported behaviour of a student will be investigated under the Student Disciplinary Procedure, and the reported behaviour of a member of staff will be investigated under the Staff Grievance Procedure.
Students who are concerned about their behaviour can speak to:
Student Support and Wellbeing (https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/studentservices/)