Amy, Wellbeing Practitioner talks about the importance of creating a supportive culture at Cardiff University and contributing something positive…
The University experience for many of our students will be one to remember and one that shapes their future. Unfortunately, for some students, their experience of University is negatively affected by some aspects of Campus Culture, including:
- Misogynistic Behaviour
- Homophobic Behaviour
- Biphobic Behaviour
- Transphobic Behaviour
- Sexually inappropriate Behaviour
- ‘Banter’ that is of an offensive nature
- Victim Blaming
Cardiff Students’ Union has been selected!
Cardiff Students’ Union has been selected by the National Union of Students (NUS) to trial a new ‘anti-lad culture’ pilot scheme. Statistics in a number of recently published reports by the NUS show that 1 in 4 students will experience unwanted sexual advances whilst at University, with 1 in 7 reporting that they have experienced a serious physical or sexual assault. That is the equivalent to one person per flat in Halls and more worryingly, the majority of perpetrators are reported to be other students.
As a University we do not want to discriminate against male students by saying they are solely responsible for the issues with campus culture. We are aware that all students, of any gender, can be a victim of harassment, sexual advances, sexual assaults and discrimination, just as all students can be responsible for contributing to negative campus culture. Equally and perhaps more importantly, all students of any gender can contribute to positive campus culture and can help to address unwanted or unacceptable behaviour from other students. That is why, when it comes to the Union running sexual consent workshops, all students will be included, regardless of gender.
What should I look out for?
Within the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service we want to do our bit to raise awareness of what acceptable and unacceptable sexual behaviour looks like and to make students aware of the University’s Zero Tolerance Policy. The SU’s Can’t Touch This Campaign, is a great start to raising awareness of the University’s stance on what is acceptable sexual contact and they will also be looking to improve ways of reporting harassment and unacceptable behaviour.
The Wellbeing Team has been working closely with the SU and Vice President for Welfare, Kate Delaney to pilot a Sexual consent workshop that will hopefully be rolled out to students this year. We are also hoping to be involved with an awareness raising week on Sexual Wellbeing, which will hopefully be coming soon.
The shift in Campus Culture that is widely reported in the news and by the NUS has resulted in open discussion about sexual consent and what defines sexually inappropriate behaviour. Please see our blog ‘Sexual Consent’ for further information about what sexual consent is and isn’t, as well as some tips and advice on asking for consent, how to say no, taking things more slowly and setting your boundaries.
GOV.UK offers advice on what to do if you have been raped or sexually assaulted, and suggests you immediately contact the police on 999 or your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (if in Cardiff, Ynys Saff SARC on 029 2033 5795). If you are not quite clear on the law then take a look at this useful factsheet.
If you are the victim of any sort of sexual harassment while at university you can contact Cardiff University Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service or talk to your Personal Tutor under the University’s Zero Tolerance Policy and they will take your complaint seriously.
Contacting Counselling Health & Wellbeing
We have friendly and approachable staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space. Please access our drop-in from Monday-Friday 3-3:45pm for a 10-15 non-bookable appointment to have an initial chat with us or, alternatively, please refer into our service by completing our referral questionnaire. It may also be helpful for you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP please contact Park Place Surgery, who provide a GP Service and a Sexual Health Clinic Service from 47 Park Place.
Amy, Wellbeing Practitioner,
Counselling, Health & Wellbeing Team
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