The University of Birmingham and its student union have joined forces to tackle sexual harassment among staff and students.
The university and the Guild of Students have launched the ‘Not On’ campaign on the back of growing concern about the prevalence of lad culture and a rise in reported cases of sexual harassment at universities across the country.
Under the initiative, staff and students will be encouraged to challenge sexual harassment and report inappropriate behaviour. Staff and students will be able to show their support for the campaign by signing the Not On pledge.
In a joint statement, the University of Birmingham and the Guild of Students said: “Sexual harassment constitutes behaviour that is unwanted and sexual in nature.
“Conduct that would amount to sexual harassment may include unwanted groping, uninvited kisses and/or bodily contact.
“However, sexual harassment is not only physical behaviour but includes anything that is sexual in nature and leaves another person feeling uncomfortable, intimidated, humiliated or offended, such as wolf whistling, catcalling, inappropriate sexual comments, sexually based insults, jokes, songs or taunts.
“The university and the Guild of Students regard any incident of harassment or bullying as a serious matter and we are committed to investigating thoroughly any allegations of harassment that are formally brought to our attention.
“You should never be subjected to harassment, whether this occurs in a bar, on campus, on public transport or online, and be it by people you know or complete strangers.
“The Guild of Students operates a strict zero tolerance policy in regards to harassment, fully supported by the university. The University Charter and Single Equality Scheme represent a commitment to preventing discrimination and supporting the provision of an inclusive learning and working environment.”