Every member of our community has the right to feel safe and supported at Warwick and our policy on any kind of harassment is clear – it will not be tolerated. Together as a community, we have made significant progress over the last two years to improve safety and support for students and will continue to do so.
Your feedback is essential to make sure we keep improving. By listening to you and understanding your concerns and ideas, we’re able to see where we can do better. There are a number of ways to share your views such as through Student-Staff Liaison Committees, student surveys, and student research panels.
Over the last two years, we’ve worked with students and other members of the community to make important progress in improving safety and support on campus. Throughout that time, we’ve regularly shared the latest developments.
During term 3 2020, Protect Warwick Women (PWW) proposed a number of ideas to address concerns over safety and support. We welcomed this feedback and have worked with them to consider each concern and look at how we can improve. On the issue of sexual misconduct, we also work with student representatives and the Students’ Union through the Student Advisory Group to understand and address concerns collectively.
We’re sharing an update below that summarises all of the changes that have been made as a result of ongoing continuous improvement reviews, and engagement with our community.
- Report and Support
The Community Safety team, Residential Life Team (RLT), Wellbeing Support Services, Students’ Union (SU) commercial staff, the SU Advice Centre team, Sabbatical Officers and Chairs and Panel Members of Disciplinary Committees have now received refresher Report and Support Awareness training. All academic department staff are receiving training in term 1.
The White Ribbon initiative has now been replaced with the Report and Support Ready? campaign. It’s specific to Warwick, supports those affected by all forms of harassment, is not solely Gender-Based Violence and allows individuals of all genders to learn how to safely signpost and receive disclosures.
The Student Liaison Officers ran 15 sessions on different areas of harassment, consent and scenarios throughout Pre-Arrivals week. You can sign up for future sessions or watch the recordings. There was also a general Consent 101 core session in Welcome Week.
Consent Collective TV provides further consent education training and is now available for all students and staff to access for free.
- Be an Active Bystander
The Active Bystander initiative is led by the Community Values Education Programme (CVEP). All incoming first-year students will have an 'Introduction to Active Bystander' session to help develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to safely address unacceptable behaviours and attitudes. All students will be invited to sign up for the full programme of training running in terms 2 and 3. Find out more.
- Warwick Values Moodle
The Warwick Values Moodle has been developed with input from the previous SU Women’s Officer, PWW and other interested groups. Completion of the Warwick Values Moodle is mandatory. We’ll continue to update it as we receive feedback from students.
The staff Warwick Values Moodle is currently being reviewed with the aim to launch pre-Christmas.
- Flip the Script
Flip the Script is a 12-hour sexual assault resistance education programme for university-aged women, which will be delivered in partnership with the University of Windsor, in Canada. Covid-19 has delayed their ability to deliver it - we’ll share an update on this once we have more information.
- Masculinity project training
The project plan and pilot should take place this academic year after student consultation.
- Self-defence sessions
Self-defence sessions are being developed jointly between the SU and the Taekwondo Club.
This term, every on-campus accommodation room contained an attack alarm, alongside a small information card on how the alarm works and who to contact in an emergency. If you're living off-campus, you can collect an alarm from Senate House or the SU.
This academic year, we have launched a Report and Support campaign to help raise awareness of the platform. This is through face to face events, posters, digital content and clubs, societies and departments. This includes thousands of toilet door stickers and posters that are currently being printed and will be up across campus soon.
- Street lighting
This academic year, the Estates department will carry out a lux survey (light assessment) on campus to identify areas where enhanced lighting is required.
- Emergency Towers
The locations of emergency phones are now listed on the interactive map. A review of the use and position of the towers was completed this year and concluded that, due to the low usage, the current position and number of towers is appropriate. Any changes will be considered as part of the continuous review of safety on campus.
- Safety section on the MyWarwick App
There’s already a safety section on the MyWarwick App and it’s now appearing at the top of the app. This includes links to Report and Support, Community Safety, Nightline and Wellbeing Support Services. We included a reminder to download and use the app to see updates and access useful information in start of term communications.
- Police presence
The police have to come onto campus on occasions for reasons that are not within our control and to support the community. We have spoken to our local police forces in Coventry and Warwickshire about the presence of the Operational Support Unit (OSU) van. Due to the wide geographical remit and patrol plan of the OSU, local police are not able to inform us in advance of its presence.
- Wellbeing Support Services (WSS)
WSS are committed to continuous improvement and the Wellbeing Operations and Engagement Group (WOEG) will be established in term 1 2021/22 to ensure that the student community is able to directly contribute to the way in which wellbeing services are provided. The SU Welfare Officer will be invited to be a core member of this group.
Over the past year, we have increased staffing (including mental health nurses) and widened the scope of interventions we can support.
- Pastoral care
Our review of out of hours wellbeing support provision is nearing completion. In the meantime, Campus Security have re-launched as the Community Safety team. The team are working with a renewed focus on building positive relationships with students, staff and visitors by engaging with them directly and working to make sure our community is safe and well while we’re together on campus. As they remain the 24/7 response team, Community Safety will continue to respond to calls for assistance and work closely with RLT and other key partners.
Following consultation with statutory partners, we now also have an agreed process for out of hours support. There is a clear process for immediately referring cases involving mental health concerns through the newly formed local Mental Health Access Hub (MHAH) to ensure students are able to access support from a clinically trained professional, 24/7.
All Community Safety Officers will routinely complete the revised two-part Mental Health training – the second part of which will be specific to the team. The process for contacting the MHAH will be included in this training.
- Intersectionality and Inclusivity of Support
The Social Inclusion strategy takes the approach of changing systems, processes and culture.
The Wellbeing Strategy commits to developing provision that reaches every member of the community.
We have worked with leadership teams to support an inclusive and intersectional approach to diversity. We have also delivered training on being an active bystander and allyship to staff and students (student initiative is led by the Community Values Education Programme), in addition to online modules focused on unconscious bias and equality, diversity and inclusion.
Wellbeing Support Services have bespoke advanced clinical training identified as part of usual their Continued Professional Development. The Community Safety team receive bespoke training developed and delivered by an external expert in this area.
As part of the current review of our staff recruitment practice and processes, we’re exploring different methods of advertising to increase our reach to all sectors. We’re also supporting recruiting departments to ensure that language used in advertising does not contain any subliminal bias and are reviewing the training provided to staff around all aspects of recruitment.
WSS posts are already advertised through specific networks – Black, African and Asian Therapy Network, Tamarind Centre, Refuge, Galop, and Survivors UK.
- Peer Support Group Scheme
Funding is available for this scheme which is being led by the SU Welfare Officer and Women’s Officers.
- Collaboration with the SU on sanctions
We have two Sabbatical Officers on each student disciplinary committee. It’s the committee that determines the sanctions given and these can include permanent exclusion from the University and campus bans.
- Sanction Report published
The report has been completed and will be published annually in October from this year.
- Survivor Support
The internal process is survivor-led and they can give an indication of the kind of sanction they would like to see. Reporters are interviewed first in any process and are asked to speak at disciplinary hearings (never face to face with the responding party) or if they would prefer to provide a statement about the impact it’s had on them.
- Removal of Conflicts of Interest in cases
All sexual misconduct cases are investigated by independent external investigating officers – never by staff.
- Set time frames for each stage of the reporting process
The Student Discipline Process flowchart shows the end to end process that will be followed when dealing with any allegations of student misconduct under Regulation 23.
The process is survivor-led and can take as long as they need.
- Public Statement
This page brings together all improvements and actions and the annual sanction report will also be made available publicly from October this year.
- CCTV policy
A revised CCTV policy will be presented to the Policy Oversight Group in November 2021 for consideration and approval.
- Gender Taskforce – permanent members
It was agreed with the Welfare Officer 2020/21 to have a standing item on the Gender Taskforce agenda (SU Representative Update) and for the Women’s Officer(s) to provide regular updates, introduce topics for discussion, and where appropriate bring in additional speakers.