Guidance and support for organisations in harassment situations
TYY's harassment contact persons advise and support organisations in resolving situations related to harassment. They can also help organisations establish good practices. In addition, TYY arranges training sessions on the subject, for example in connection with the organisational forums. You can ask the harassment contact persons to help you by sending them an email. You can find their contact information here.
How organisations can intervene in harassment situations:
Organisations are responsible for their own activities and can also intervene in harassment that takes place in their events. When dealing with harassment situations, organisations can mostly follow the same process as TYY. You can read more about it here. However, when dealing with these issues it is important to remember a few important things:
- The issues must always be handled confidentially, and all messages and discussions should be kept between those involved in the matter, unless you specifically agree on something else.
- Remember that the you need permission from the one who contacted you if you wish to proceed with the matter. If the one who contacts you has not personally experienced the harassment (i.e. the matter has been reported on behalf of another person), remember to first contact the person who has experienced the harassment and verify their permission to handle the matter.
- Both the person who has allegedly harassed someone and the one who has suffered the harassment must be heard on the matter before any other action is taken by the organisation.
- When dealing with harassment situations, the organisation must comply with its rules and observe the rights of all parties. For example, no action shall be taken against a member of the organisation without first hearing their side of the story.
If you are unsure about how to proceed, do not hesitate to message TYY's harassment contact persons. You can also develop your own skills by participating in TYY's training sessions. These are organized a few times a year, usually in connection with organisational forums. You can find the training materials here.
The dates of upcoming training sessions can be found in TYY's event calendar.
Checklist for those in charge of equality affairs
- Listen to the person who has contacted you and try to understand what has happened.
- Always remember to keep things confidential and ask the person for permission before requesting advice from others, such as TYY or the university's Early Support contact persons.
- If the harassment has taken place during teaching or another study-related situation, guide the person towards the university's Early Support contact persons.
- When dealing with situations that have taken place between students in non-study-related situations, guide the person towards TYY's harassment contact persons or ask them for help.
- If you want to sort things out with the other party, or if you want to impose sanctions on them, you should ALWAYS first hear what they have to say.
- As the person responsible for equality affairs in your organisation, you don't need to be (and actually shouldn't be) the one to resolve the situation. You just have to listen.
- You are the person that can be contacted in order to hear about different options and find the right way forward.
- Please note that you need to be impartial and neutral when dealing with alleged harassment situations. If you personally know one or both parties, this cannot be the case. In such a situation, we recommend you to contact TYY's harassment contact persons, for example.
How you can improve the ways your organisation intervenes in harassment:
- Make sure you have designated people in your organisation to contact. Make sure they have received the necessary training from TYY.
- Make sure that your organisation has established principles for a safer space and that the members are aware of them. You can take a look at TYY's principles for a safer space here and model your own principles after them.
- When organizing events, make sure that there is a designated person who can be contacted about any harassment situations that might take place during the event. Make sure your event invitations mention the principles for a safer space.
- Make sure your organisation has written templates and guidelines for tackling harassment. They should also be communicated to your members.
- Review your organisation's rules to make sure you follow them. If you want to impose sanctions on a member of the organisation, there needs to be a rule that makes it possible. If necessary, make changes to the rules in your general meeting in the Autumn or Spring. If you need help with rule matters, you can contact TYY's Specialist in Student Organisations, whose contact information can be found here.
Remember that you can always ask TYY for help. This is all helpful information even if you aren't the one who is contacted in harassment situations!