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Respect Day 2016

Wednesday 16 November 2016


Wednesday 16 November was nominated as ‘Respect Day' across the campus. Trudie Donnelly, Organisational Development Director, talks about what respect means and why this day is so important:

"Respect is a key element of the University's ‘community’ value, and underpins all the work within our comprehensive Equality, Diversity & Inclusion programme. Respect and the role we all play in building this across the community is also being progressed as one of the five post-Pulse institutional staff engagement themes, and last Wednesday was used as the launch day to start a conversation across the community about what Respect is, the role we each play and to consider what more we can all do."

The following quote was taken from a response in the PULSE survey

“I would encourage everyone to remember that no one comes to work wanting to do a bad job, and we try to understand other people better and collaborate more – let’s break down those barriers and remove the negativity. So it’s nothing grand….. Just respect everyone you meet and work with."

Natalie Sharpling tweeted

"#WARWICK RESPECTS: It’s not about how much you have published or what rank you are but what is in your heart that counts."


Key Messages

The Respect Day was designed around the eight key messages

  1. Start with the basics.
  2. Remember we are all different.
  3. Be self-aware.
  4. Develop your communication skills.
  5. Discuss what respect means in your local place of work or study.
  6. Take time to connect with and support others across the community.
  7. Don’t be a bystander.
  8. Lead with respect.


Highlights of The Day

Highlights of the day included:

  • Raising the rainbow flag as a broad symbol of respect and support for full diversity of thought, beliefs, and values across campus.
  • Stands across campus featuring displays of thought provoking posters and video clips on the respect theme. Hosted by volunteers, the stands were designed to engage as many staff and students as possible and get people thinking and talking about respect - what it means to them and how they can make a difference in their every day life.
  • Tasty 'Warwick Respects' cookies were handed out across campus to appreciative staff and students.
  • ‘Pop up’ theatre acts were staged in University House and the Students’ Union to help consider the potential positive and negative impact our behaviours can have and how and when we should intervene.
  • A short session was held raising awareness of unconscious bias and an Unconscious Bias Moodle was launched for use by the whole community.

Chris Ennew, Provost, re-emphasised the simple underpinning message of kindness in the Exec blog.

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." (From God Bless You, Mr Rosewater)

Feedback on the day was really encouraging and commitments to random acts of kindness and ongoing support for respect across the community were made by staff and students, some of these powerful messages include:

"Respect is inclusive and does not differentiate between gender, race, age, or any other factors."

"Be positive and polite to people – it usually means they will be nice back."

"Valuing other people’s opinions, beliefs and supporting them on their goals and ambitions."

"It doesn’t hurt to say thank you and please."


What Next?

The day was great, and we want this to a starting point for more development in this area. Plans are being developed for the next phase of Respect at Warwick which will include:

  • Using and developing the resources created for Respect Day to enable departments to discuss how they can practically build respect at a local level.
  • Conversations with the University’s senior leadership team around the part they personally play.
  • Working with managers to lead by example and to feel confident to address inappropriate behaviours.

Remember we all play a part in creating the community we want to work and study in, so think about what else you can do.