Bullying and harassment
No forms of bullying or harassment are tolerated at Imperial. If you experience bullying or harassment, there are different options for you to consider and you can get advice and support before you decide what you want to do.
What are bullying and harassment?
Bullying is unwanted repeated behaviours used to upset or hurt someone. It often involves someone using their power in a targetted way to undermine another person. It can involve physical, psychological or emotional harm. It can involve name-calling, belittling someone, excluding someone from activities, spreading rumours or threatening someone. Bullying often makes use of an imbalance of physical or social power. In a university context this can include the use of academic position and power to exclude or prevent people from accessing opportunities, or deliberately undermining someone else's work.
Harassment is defined by law in the UK. Harassment describes unwanted behaviour that is offensive, intimidating, humiliating or harmful. The person carrying out the behaviour does not need to have the intention of harming the targetted person - harassment is defined by the impact of the behaviour. The behaviour can include emotional or physical harm. Harassment can be behaviour that is repeated or happens only a couple of times.
There are specific forms of harassment the relate to protected characteristics - this is where the behaviour is targetted at someone because of who they are, or who someone thinks they are, or uses someone's identity or beliefs to impact or harm them. This includes race, religion, disability, age, gender identity or sexuality.
What can I do if I am being bullied or harassed?
- Keep a record of what happened, including dates, times and evidence like texts, screenshots, messages
- If you feel safe enough tell the person that their behaviour is unwanted. Be specific about the behaviour for example raising their voice, calling you a name, excluding you, or pestering you for a date. You could ask someone for help with this if you don't want to speak to the person by yourself, or send them a message by email
- If the behaviour is upsetting you and impacting your wellbeing you can talk to someone you trust in your department, such as a Student Wellbeing Adviser, the Welfare team in yoru faculty, or your personal tutor
- If you are considering reporting this issue to the College you can talk to our confidential Student Support Advisers team, who can discuss your options and help you decide what to do next.
Report and Support
Imperial College London has a commitment to a respectful and inclusive community. Bullying, harassment and discrimination are not acceptable. We use Report and Support, a tool which all students and staff can use to tell the College about any experiences of bullying and harassment, whether the person carrying out this behaviour is another student or a staff member.
Report and Support is a simple form where you can disclose information about what has happened and ask to be contacted by one of our confidential, specialist Student Support Advisers. Using the Report and Support tool does not mean that you have made a formal report to the College however if you ask to be put in contact with someone our Advisers will talk to you about making a formal report and support you to do so if that's the decision you make. If you choose to be put in contact with an adviser you will be contacted within two working days to arrange a suitable time to meet.
Report and Support also has an option to make an anonymous report - this tells the College what kind of behaviours are happening, where and when they occur, so that the College can identify patterns and undertake preventative initiatives.
Student Support Advisers
The College's Student Services has a team of trained and specialist Student Support Advisers who are here to listen and support all students who experience any forms of bullying, harassment and discrimination. The team are confidential and independent from all academic departments.
How can they help?
Everyone’s experience is different and you will be supported in a way that is right for you. We will help you to understand the steps that you can take within the College. This might include an informal resolution, making a formal report, or accessing specialist support.
How do I get in touch?
The best way to get in touch with the Student Adviser Team is by submitting a disclosure on the Report and Support. We will contact you within 2 working days to confirm that we've received your disclosure and arrange a meeting, or provide advice over email. Meetings can be over the phone, via Teams video call, or in person. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to just email, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be in touch with someone.
We will maintain confidentiality, unless, in line with our confidentiality and safeguarding policies there is reason to believe there is an imminent risk of harm. Contacting and meeting with us does not oblige you to make a formal report to the College - this is your choice and we will not pressure you to make a report.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you might want to explain to the person responsible that their behaviour is unacceptable. This may be enough to cause them to rethink their actions.
If you don’t feel OK doing this you can speak to a member of staff, such as your Personal Tutor, Supervisor, Hall Warden or Faculty Senior Tutor. They will be able to take appropriate steps to address the unwanted behaviour, with the aim of reaching an informal resolution.
If an issue is very serious or you have already tried to resolve an issue informally without success, you might decide to make a formal report.
See below for information on how to make a formal report.
Reporting bullying or harassment
Reporting something that involves a student at Imperial
If you report an incident that involves another student, this will be considered as a potential breach of the Student Disciplinary Code and investigated under the Student Disciplinary Procedure, Ordinance E2.
You will need to make a statement about what has happened, who the alleged perpetrator is and email these details to email@example.com.
A member of the student casework team will respond to your report and explain the next steps.
Reporting something that involves a member of staff
If you report an incident that involves a member of staff, this should be initially submitted under the Student Complaints Procedure.
On receipt of a complaint of this nature, the student casework team will submit the case to the College HR department to be investigated under the Staff Disciplinary Policy and Procedure [pdf]. At the end of the process, if you consider that the College has not managed the process appropriately, you may request this to be addressed under the Complaints Procedure. The student casework team will be able to provide guidance on this process.