News | Tuesday, 14th March 2017

Student-led project to raise awareness of zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment

Year of activities funded by grant from HEFCE

The Union at Manchester Metropolitan University
The Union at Manchester Metropolitan University

Raising awareness of the zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment is the aim of a joint project between Manchester Metropolitan University and its Students’ Union.

The year-long set of activities - to begin in April - will be led by the Manchester Metropolitan student community and is funded by more than £48,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund.

Enhance the positive culture

Dr Catherine Mills, Head of Graduate School and Student of Case Management at the University and co-author of the project bid, said: “This project is about building on, and enhancing, the positive student culture and community we have at Manchester Metropolitan.

“Our zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment places the current student community at its heart, and the HEFCE funding award is a welcome recognition of and support for the University's approach and our continued collaborative work with the Students’ Union.

"The Union will act as a conduit and facilitator for student-led campaigning and consulting on the development of student training resources, bringing together students who are active and interested in safeguarding and specifically tackling gendered violence, with the support and guidance of the Union staff."

Under the project, new students will be given information in welcome packs before and just after they arrive about the University's stance towards harassment and violence, as well as directing them to the extensive available support.

Other planned activity includes a student-led campaign and a series of drama performances in University-owned halls of residence.

An online course called 'Consent Matters' will be offered and eventually a tailored version will be integrated into student training and advice packages.

Forward-thinking project

Lewis Bartlett, Students’ Union President, said “We’re thrilled to be part of this forward thinking project, not only because it champions education around consent but also because it focuses on supporting survivors and promotes progressive policies to reduced sexual violence against women.”

The University and its students’ union will also work in partnership with The University of Manchester, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police and Manchester Student Homes as part of a broad coalition to promote student safety and wellbeing in the wider community.

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