Professor Becky Francis, Director of the Institute of Education

I consider the Full Stop campaign to be vital at this time to ensure a safe and inclusive working environment, where all can thrive. We know that sexual harassment and misconduct is prevalent across society and its institutions, which includes universities. University life and working practices, characterised by hierarchical relations such as student/teacher (or doctoral supervisor), Early Career scholar/established Professor (or research team leader), can be particularly facilitative of power inequalities that can be abused. It is vital, then, that we take steps to ensure an institutional message and culture that sexual harassment and misconduct are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We need to create an environment that prevents such behaviour, and wherein anyone experiencing it can report safely and with confidence that they will be taken seriously - the latter addressed by our 'Report and Support' system. My commitment to addressing this issue at UCL means I am proud to Chair the 'Preventing Sexual Misconduct Strategy Group', with my co-Chair Prof Nigel Titchener-Hooker.

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of Engineering

I believe that individuals deserve to be treated as equals. No-one should be subject to discrimination. Society as a whole, and UCL within that, needs to demonstrate equity in practice. We start from a position of marked disparities, not least in the area of sexual harassment which is a dreadful indicement of us as a community.

It is my determination to do all I can to help us move toward a university where sexual misconduct no longer exists. I recognize that this is a big task but I know that my conviction that this is not only wrong, but that also entirely it is in our capabilities to root out and remove. The journey toward this goal has begun, now we need to ensure the momentum is maintained.

Dr. Mike Sulu, Biochemical Engineering

It seems as though within the academy, we have spent a long time protecting those who ‘do not play well with others’ instead of helping them become better members of society. This, for most, can be done simply by reminding individuals of the privilege and power they hold, and holding them accountable when they abuse that privilege and/or power.

For me the Full stop campaign shows the move in emphasis from the potential neglect (anecdotally this is often not malicious) of those who have experienced any form of bullying or harassment to actively supporting them. The previous situation would often leave individuals suffering for an unacceptable timeframe and at risk of recurrent incidents that would potentially be detrimental to both physical and mental health/well-being. Institutionally this will lead to a decrease in productivity, but my personal concern is the support of the individual. Regardless of who you are, and where you are at UCL, you deserve the right to work in an inclusive and supportive environment, and I hope that this campaign and the change in institutional attitude will be a catalyst for this positive change.

Nick McGhee, Student Registry Services

Through my involvement with UCL’s student complaints and disciplinary procedures, I know that unacceptable behaviour exists in our community. I have also seen how diversified are the experiences which inform our attitudes to such behaviours. That very diversity, however, which may seem like a challenge, presents us with a great opportunity – to draw on our collective experience in order to clarify our shared expectations of how we interact, to promote cultural behaviour change in the direction that we as a community wish to see it go, and to be clear about the circumstances in which the university will seek to challenge such behaviour.  

At UCL we are justified in setting ourselves high standards. Full Stop is everyone’s business and everyone’s responsibility.


Sasha Woods, Research Associate, Institute of Ophthalmology

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

In a previous postdoc position, I witnessed a PI systematically bully and harass almost every individual in the team; with name-calling, threats and aggression. At the time, all of us felt powerless to stop her unacceptable behaviour and so it triumphed; as one by one, her postdocs and technicians quit.

Fast forward to now and I am lucky to have an incredibly supportive PI, and an office full of peers who value one another. I know, however, that not everyone is quite so fortunate and that – even at an establishment as prestigious at UCL – certain individuals do not behave appropriately, leaving others feeling victimised and trapped.

‘Report + Support' gives UCL students and staff a platform from which to report unacceptable behaviour anonymously, or seek out information from Dignity Advisors. This is a hugely positive step in eradicating bad behaviour in our institution, but there is more to be done. By working together through Full Stop we can put an end to bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, and create a community we are all proud to be a part of.

Selina Lovell, Physics & Astronomy

Having experienced work place bullying and knowing the impact this had on me personally, affecting everything from physical and mental health to work efficiency and family relationships I wanted to be part of the culture of change at UCL, to be a standard bearer for the Full Stop campaign so that colleagues can discuss concerns in confidence with trained advisors and feel empowered to challenge negative behaviour. By being open about these issues all colleagues at UCL can reflect and understand the implications of their own behaviour on others and therefore create a positive environment that benefits all of us.  Let’s make UCL a world leader as a fair, open and supportive place to work for everyone.

Lauren Stevens, HR Business Partner

Full Stop matters to me because I want all staff and students at UCL to feel empowered, supported and valued. I have dealt with cases of bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct many times through my HR career, in a number of different industries and sectors. I have seen the impact this can have on a person’s confidence and their feelings about what they can achieve. Power imbalances and fear of being unsupported can create a culture of silence, where people don’t feel confident to come forward and tell is their story. But UCL wants to change that narrative and is determined to create significant and long lasting cultural shift. 

I am proud that UCL is taking a hard line to bring full stop to these experiences. We are prepared to take a stand against any individual who seeks to damage the working or learning experiences of those within our community. We will take an honest, transparent and supportive approach to all disclosures we receive. We are committed to supporting cultural change to ensure that these experiences are eradicated in years to come and we hope that you will join us. 

Dr. Caroline Selai, Institute of Neurology

The cumulative impact of bullying, often insidious, can be significant. During countless consultations I have heard colleagues who are experiencing harassment describe how they feel utterly dejected, powerless and afraid to speak out. Fearful of repercussions, many have suffered in silence for months.
 By the time of the first consultation, most have visited their GP and been prescribed medication for various psychological and somatic symptoms, digestive disorders, nausea, headaches, difficulties sleeping, pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, anxiety, depression, loss of confidence resulting in avoidance behaviours.
 Whilst shame prevents many people from seeking help, the climate is changing. I have been encouraged by invitations to facilitate discussions about Dignity at UCL: with individuals, teams and with whole departments.
 We are more aware of the importance of challenging negative behaviour and, conversely, how a positive environment can generate energy, motivation and creativity. I have been passionate about the UCL Dignity Advisor role at UCL since starting (in 2001).
 My vision for UCL through Full Stop is that more colleagues will feel empowered to have a confidential conversation. Many people tell me they wish they had not waited so long before seeking support. Things are changing. Join us in making that change.

 

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