Here at Warwick, we rightly pride ourselves on our strong sense of community, our friendly and vibrant campus and most of all, our people.
We want all our students to feel accepted and safe, both on and off campus.
But sadly, we know that’s not everyone’s experience. Misconduct happens here at Warwick, just as it does elsewhere.
We are committed to doing all we can to stamp out unacceptable behaviour – working in close partnership with our community to tackle the underlying issues, raise awareness of the support on offer and taking action against those who fail to follow our rules.
Transparency and openness are vital when it comes to better understanding the challenges we face. We must face into uncomfortable truths rather than hide away from them.
That’s why we’re again releasing this year’s annual report for our online disclosure platform Report and Support, following on from our first one in 2021.
This year, the overall number of disclosures of misconduct has increased, with rises in bullying and sexual misconduct reports.
Although this is not unexpected given rising levels of awareness and trust in the platform, we take these findings extremely seriously and will continue to work hard to address all forms of misconduct.
It’s important to provide some context around these numbers.
The reporting period covers the first-year students and staff returned to campus after the pandemic. For much of 2020/21 staff and students were in lockdown at home so numbers were likely to be far lower as a result compared to a more ‘normal’ year.
We have also worked hard to promote the Report and Support tool and the fact many more students and staff are now using the service reflects a growing trust in the platform. That’s a good sign and we will continue to actively encourage people to use it.
It’s also encouraging that more people are making named rather than anonymous reports this year - as it means we can offer them specialist support to help them as well as the ability to take appropriate action against anyone who has found to have broken our rules.
We continue to make progress in improving our support services, preventative training and disciplinary processes too – but know there’s always more we can do.
One incident of misconduct is one too many and behind these numbers are painful human stories of trauma and distress.
Ultimately, this is an issue we can only tackle effectively together as a community, with staff, students, stakeholders and experts working in partnership to further improve our approach.
And that’s exactly what we are committed to doing.
The University of Warwick sees this annual report as part of our support for The OFS’ Statement of Expectations for preventing and addressing harassment and sexual misconduct affecting students in higher education.