The University is dedicated to creating and maintaining a safe, welcoming, inclusive and diverse community which nurtures a healthy environment and culture of mutual respect and consideration, allowing all members to thrive without fear of harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual violence, abuse, coercive behaviours or related misconduct.
Reporting procedures for students include a complaints procedure where students can request that another student’s behaviour is investigated without formal action being taken; the University disciplinary procedure; and an anonymous reporting option, which enables the University to monitor the number and type of reports and the reasons why those reporting wished to remain anonymous.
You can find full information about the University’s procedures here: https://www.studentcomplaints.admin.cam.ac.uk/harassment-sexual-misconduct.
The aim of this page is to briefly summarise some of the options available to you.
If you need any help working out what to do or how to report an incident, you can talk in confidence to Rebecca Anne Barr, the Faculty’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Officer. Email her to set up a meeting on firstname.lastname@example.org. At the bottom of this page is a flowchart summarising the information detailed here, which may help you decide on the route you want to take.
The University’s anonymous reporting form enables anyone who is or has been a student, staff or visitor to the University to anonymously report any inappropriate behaviour of any kind from staff, students or members of the community, including any form of harassment (including racial harassment), bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct. You can access it here:
There are support and reporting options available for those that have experienced any type of harassment. However, the collegiate University understands that formally reporting an incident is not something that everyone wishes to do; it takes time and energy, and sometimes includes sharing very personal information. Therefore, this option enables you to anonymously record this type kind of behaviour. The information you provide will be collated and analysed to help monitor the prevalence of incidents that take place and understand the impact of initiatives run by the collegiate University and Students’ Unions.
The University cannot take direct action as a result of anonymous reporting. If you wish action to be taken you can formally report an incident to the College, University, or the Police.
Formal Complaints Process
If you are a student find out more at: www.studentcomplaints.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporting.
If you are a staff member find out more at: https://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/policies-procedures/dignity-work-policy.
How to report a member of staff
A student will never be disadvantaged for raising a genuine complaint. If you raise a complaint about a staff member then the University and/or College will ensure that you will not be assessed or taught in a small group with that member of staff.
If you wish to raise a complaint about a University staff member please download and complete the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form and email it to OSCCA@admin.cam.ac.uk. You can download the form here:
You will then be invited to a meeting with a member of the Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals to discuss the next steps. Depending on the nature of the complaint it may be necessary for staff discipline processes to be used, this might limit some of the information that can be shared with you as a result of the staff member’s right to confidentiality, but information will be shared with you about things that affect you. Throughout any investigation, you will continue to be kept informed by the University.
If you wish to raise a complaint about a staff member in a College contact your College Tutor, Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor, or where the Senior Tutor is involved, the Master of the College.
How to report a student
The procedure for complaining about a student to a College is likely to be published on your College website. You can seek advice from your Tutor or Senior Tutor, or from the Tutorial Office about how to make a complaint.
The University and College will not both investigate the same matter under the harassment and sexual misconduct procedures. For advice about which procedure to use, speak to your Tutor, the Sexual Assault & Harassment Advisor or contact the Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals at OSCCA@admin.cam.ac.uk.
Reporting to the police
If you believe that a criminal offence has been committed then you can report the matter to the police. If the incident has taken place in Cambridge then you can find out more information from the Cambridge Constabulary. If you report a matter to the police, you can still report a matter to the University or College. The University is able to take precautionary action whilst the police are conducting an investigation. However, the University will wait until all police action and any subsequent criminal proceedings have completed before investigating or taking further action. Unless the University considers there to be an immediate and significant threat to you or other members of the community, it will never inform the police about a matter you have reported without your agreement.
Reporting ‘Everyday Racism’
In addition to the reporting options listed above, if you have experienced racial harassment there is an ‘End Everyday Racism’ campaign in Cambridge: http://racismatcambridge.org. It is an independent research project developed by Dr Ella McPherson and Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa at the Department of Sociology. ‘The project aims to generate…knowledge about how everyday racism works’ at Cambridge, producing ‘numeric, descriptive and geographic evidence to inform advocacy but also for academic presentations and publications.’
It differs from the anonymous reporting that the University offers because it asks for more detail with the aim of highlighting how racism is normalised.
The flowchart below may help you work out what you want to do in reporting an incident of racial harassment.