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To make a fairer and more inclusive University a reality, we have a range of events, advice, and support for our staff, students, visitors and the wider university community, including guidance about how to report bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct.
Support and Guidance
Here you will find our EDI Calendar of Events, as well as policies, advice and guidance on a number of topics, aimed at creating a fairer and more inclusive University. If there are other EDI-related topics you would like more information about, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for Staff Accordion Accordion
EDI Calendar of Events 2023-2024
Throughout the year, a multitude of significant dates dedicated to promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are observed. Our EDI Calendar of Events consolidates these dates and offers details on how individuals within the Lancaster community can engage in EDI-focused networks and events.
- LU EDI Calendar 2023-2024
- To download with a Lancaster University Staff account: EDI Calendar 2023 (Sharepoint)
Document last updated 1st November 2023.
LUREN (Lancaster University Race Equality Network) has developed an Anti-Racist Learning and Teaching Toolkit, a practical document to help colleagues understand racism both in general and as it relates to their area of research and teaching. For more information please see the Anti-Racist Toolkit.
Bullying and Harassment
At Lancaster, we promote a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct. It reflects an approach in which the University will proactively work to educate and inform, as well as take all accusations seriously and act on them appropriately without preconception or bias. Our policies on bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct aim to assist in the promotion of an inclusive and constructive environment on campus, as well as in external relationships connected with the University, in which bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct are recognised as unacceptable. It is also designed to give individuals the confidence to complain in the knowledge that their complaints will be taken seriously and due process followed in resolving the matter.
What do we mean by bullying and harassment?
Bullying or harassment is behaviour or actions that are unwelcome, unwarranted and cause a detrimental effect to the wellbeing of the victim. Harassment, bullying and sexual misconduct can also apply to a group of people as well as individuals.
Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour and abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, upset, threaten, denigrate or injure the recipient and can make a person feel vulnerable. This can be either physical or psychological in nature.
Some examples of bullying include (but are not limited to):
- Shouting at someone or being sarcastic against someone because of one or more protected characteristics (e.g. mocking someone in relation to their disability; shouting a racial and/or homophobic or transphobic slur).
- Physical or psychological threats.
- ‘Calling names’ at someone because of a protected characteristic (e.g. because of their age, or for they are disabled, or because they are gay, lesbian, bi or trans, racist name-calling).
- Spreading malicious rumours or insulting someone, particularly on grounds of protected characteristics.
- Systematic exclusion of colleagues from work meetings because of their characteristics (e.g. excluding colleagues belonging to an ethnic minority, or with a disability, or because of their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, or if they have or are perceived to have more than one of these characteristics).
Harassment, as an element of bullying, is specifically defined under the Equality Act 2010. as unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect, assessed from the individual’s perspective, of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating environment for that individual. It can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct.
Some examples of harassment include (but are not limited to):
- Unwanted physical conduct
- Racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes
- Derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender;
- Outing or threatening to out someone as lesbian, gay, bi, trans or non-binary.
- Mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability or physical appearance.
- Unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour.
- Offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content.
Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to encompass a range of behaviours including sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault), and non-consensual sexual penetration (rape).
Victimisation is when a person is mistreated because they have made a complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying or have supported another person in making a complaint.
Further details on the definitions are available in our policies:
- Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy – Staff (internal only)
- Dignity in Student Life Policy – Students (internal only)
- Sexual Misconduct – Students (internal only)
Reporting and Support for Staff
If you feel that you have experienced bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct, a range of options are available to you, including:
- Support from the Anti-Harassment and Bullying Team (AHBT)
- Report anonymously
- Raise it with the individual
- Seek informal or formal advice from your trade union representative
- Request a mediation meeting
- Initiate a formal complaint
Further details are set out in our Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy – Staff (internal only).
Reporting and Support for Students
If you feel you have experienced or witnessed behaviours such as abuse, bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crime, racism, sexual harassment or violence, we urge you to report this to the University Unisafe: incident reporting and support | ASK - Lancaster Universityand/or the Police.
For further support students can contact the Anti-harassment and Bullying Team and find more information on how to report an incident on the student Bullying, Harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct pages.
Decolonising Lancaster University
The notion of decolonising education is a recognised and valued area of scholarship which has attracted a significant amount interest for some time in both academic and policy circles. It relates to the recognition that knowledge and practices in Higher Education have often been formed and shaped by aspects of Western colonialism and racism, and this makes Higher Education an exclusionary social and intellectual space.
Decolonising raises a complex set of questions that go beyond merely extending reading lists and it requires us to think about the very nature of the power relations in the classroom and supervisory spaces, the forms and effects of the assessments, literatures, theories and methodologies we promote, as well as how we interact with fellow scholars, students and other universities.
It is about acknowledging the legacies of slavery, colonialism, racism and empire by addressing systemic inequalities relating to all aspects of Higher Education – curriculum, admissions, recruitment, promotions, publishing, staff and student mobility, rankings, research funding, engagement, collaborations, teaching and learning practices.
This undertaking is not something that can be achieved overnight - it requires a long-term collective effort. Although some work has already been done on this front at Lancaster University, especially by students, it has often been in isolated pockets. In 2019, Dr Sunita Abraham and Dr Richard Budd formed a staff-student network to create a more coordinated approach to decolonising. Today, the Decolonising Lancaster University (DLU) network has grown to over 400 members, including professional service staff and students.
Please also see the Lancaster University Race Equality Network (LUREN) for other related work at the university.
Disability, Mental Health and Accessibility
Reasonable adjustments and support for staff
Lancaster University recognises the importance of providing reasonable adjustments to employees with visible and invisible disabilities. These reasonable adjustments can take many forms and should be tailored to the individual's needs.
We are a Disability Confident Employer and we work with our Occupational Health service and external schemes, e.g. Access to Work and Able Futures, to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for our colleagues, where there are barriers to inclusion at work.
Designed to act as a pre-cursor to Occupational Health (OH), where appropriate, our Reasonable Adjustment Passport is a formal, living document aimed to ensure disabled staff feel supported from across their team, and wider. If the adjustments you require can reasonably be managed by your team (with support from their HR Partner where necessary, and with consent), then you can use a Reasonable Adjustment Passport.
If you require reasonable adjustments, please discuss these options with your line manager.
Reasonable adjustments and support for students
Our Student Wellbeing Services offer a range of support and guidance to disabled students. For information on the range of support available, please visit our Disability and Inclusive Practice Service pages:
Advice and support for our staff and students are available to enable them to overcome difficulties in using IT equipment, accessing information or producing accessible materials. Further information is available on our Information and Security Services' Digital Accessibility help and training pages, including:
- Creating Accessible Resources online course (internal only)
- Accessibility checklists and guidance for Digital Content.
- Guidance and resources on Accessibility Regulations, including guidance on Moodle spaces and learning materials, Websites and website content, Documents and other resources and Social media sites and content.
Accessibility on campus is managed by our Facilities Team. To find the most accessible routes on campus, please visit AccessAble. This website allows you to check for accessible toilets, lifts and other features to assist you when on campus.
What is a Hidden Disability?
A hidden disability is a disability that is not immediately obvious, as they do not have physical signs. For instance, learning difficulties, mental health, as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments, can be considered hidden disabilities.
If you wish to know more about hidden disabilities, check this video:
Supporting Parents and Carers
We recognise that juggling caring responsibilities with work and study can be a challenge. Caring for a child, disabled or elderly parents, or other adult dependents such as a family member or friend can take both a physical and emotional toll on the caregiver. The activities provided by a carer vary widely and the staff or student carer may be living with the person they provide care for or may have to travel to attend to their caring responsibilities.
Our Parents' and Carers' Network has put together a list of resources to support those with caring responsibilities.
If you have caring responsibilities, please discuss this, in confidence, with your line manager, your college or department to help identify available support if required.
Trans Equality at Lancaster University
We are committed to trans equality and inclusion, as members of the Stonewall Global Diversity Champions programme and the Athena SWAN Charter. We have developed a policy and guidance for staff and students to recognise and support everyone's gender identity and expression and to ensure an inclusive, trans-friendly workplace, learning environment and culture, where everyone can thrive and fulfil their potential free from discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation.
Our trans work has been developed with Lancaster University Students' Union, our LGBT Staff Network and colleagues across the University and with support from external experts at Stonewall and Lancashire LGBT. The Guidance introduces a system of Key Contacts that you can turn to for advice if you are a trans student or member of staff.
If you are a student, for queries on change of name requests you can also refer to the Student Records team in the Student Registry, by sending an email to email@example.com. You can also find out more about our specialist support for Trans* students via our Advice, Support and Knowledge webpages.
If you are a member of staff, you can contact your line manager or require the support of your People and OE Advisor.
Please note the following policy and guidance is currently undergoing its bi-annual review for updates and amendments. If you have any questions or would like to be involved with the review please contact the EDI Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gender Neutral facilities
Our Facilities team has put together a list of gender-neutral facilities with the help of Lancaster University Women+ Forum and LGBTQ+ Staff Network and added them to Maze Maps. You can find over 220 facilities across the Bailrigg campus.
Trans Inclusion and Allyship
Our LGBT+ Staff and LGBTQIA+ Allies networks have crafted top tips and examples of good practices on Trans and Non-binary allyship and inclusion. From adding pronouns to signatures and Microsoft Teams to providing pronoun badges and Pride Progress lanyards, we welcome students and colleagues to share these resources on creating Trans and Non-binary inclusive environments.
- Top Tips Trans Allyship at LU
- Good Practice Trans Inclusion at LU
- Trans Allyship and Inclusion (Accessible Word Document)
View University-wide LGBTQIA+ students/staff support.
LGBTQIA Allies Network
Lancaster University’s LGBTQIA+ Ally Network exists to create, promote and champion safe and supportive environments, events and communities for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, queer, intersex, asexual or questioning (LGBTQIA+) staff and students through practising active allyship.
The network aims to be an effective place to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues, raise the profile of LGBTQIA+ allies, and ensure that there are visible ally role models at different levels of the organisation. The LGBTQIA+ Ally Network primarily works to provide a safe and supportive working environment for staff and students who define as LGBTQIA+ and to its members by sharing experiences and best practice through holding regular meetings, attending events and communicating with members and Lancaster University staff and students on LGBTQIA+ issues.
- Safe Home Base - Staff who sign up to be an LGBTQIA+ Safe Home Base Ally are willing to let students or colleagues approach them for guidance or help, and they can be active listeners to LGBTQIA+ students and staff’s experiences.
- LGBTQ&A - LGBTQ&A is a bespoke collaboration series created by Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) teams and LGBTQ+ Student and Staff Networks to honour LGBT History month.
- Top Tips Trans Allyship at LU & Good Practice Trans Inclusion at LU - For Transgender Awareness Week in 2023, the network worked with the LGBT+ Staff Network to develop top tips and good practice of Trans and Non-Binary allyship and inclusion at Lancaster University.
To become an LGBTQIA+ Ally in your department, please email email@example.com.
Once you sign up as an Ally, you can have access to resources that can assist you in familiarising yourself with your role. You will also participate in an induction session held by the Ally Network lead and members of the LGBT Staff Network. Induction session and network meeting dates are posted in the LGBTQIA+ Allies Microsoft Teams channel. Induction sessions are recorded for allies who cannot attend.
View University-wide LGBTQIA+ students/staff support.
- Widening Participation and Social Mobility
Where to go for further support
Further information and support
- EDI-related Networks: We have several EDI–related networks and associations at Lancaster University for staff and students. For further details, visit our Staff Networks @ Lancaster University page.
- EDI Team: The EDI Team runs an MS Teams EDI Stakeholders Team to keep in touch with colleagues who are interested in EDI discussions and good practice. The Teams page is open to all staff to join. You can also contact the EDI Team by email with any general queries about EDI.
- Staff Wellbeing: All staff are able to access a range of professional support through the Employee Assistance Programme and has selected the Five Ways to Mental Wellbeing framework, as a basis to provide information and activities to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of our staff.
- Anti-Harassment and Bullying Team: an informal source of support for staff and students who want to talk to someone in a safe space.
- Support for Staff (internal only)
- Support for Students
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Events
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