Cambridge awarded cash boost to fight harassment

Khushali Dodhia 16 March 2017

The University has received a funding boost of £87,000 in order to support a series of initiatives to combat harassment on campus.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced on Tuesday that it was awarding Cambridge the grant, which will be used to implement a number of new programmes, including the “Intervention Initiative” which will help students to stop and deal with inappropriate behaviour.

The money will also fund the expansion of awareness-raising on consent, and a new anonymous reporting system that it is hoped will encourage students to come forward and report incidents of harassment and sexual misconduct.

It will also be used to roll out the “Good Lad” campaign across sports clubs, which runs workshops enabling men to better deal with complex gender situations.

Cambridge’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Professor Graham Virgo, said: “Providing students with a safe environment has always been a priority at the University of Cambridge.

“In order to allow our students to thrive, and take full advantage of the world class education Cambridge offers, our community must remain one where all students and staff are safe and protected from any form of violence, sexual harassment or hate.

“We welcome HEFCE’s support, which will allow us to build on work to ensure our students receive the appropriate advice and services to support their mental health and wellbeing.

“We recognise there is more to do to tackle these complex and important issues effectively and make sure that discrimination is a thing of the past.

“However, this funding will help us take a significant step forward in embedding a culture of zero-tolerance to all forms of abuse and discrimination.”

CUSU’s Women’s Officer Audrey Sebatindira commented: “The prevention and support work will build on the awareness raising around consent and culture change work by CUSU, clearly demonstrating to students that the Collegiate University takes allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct very seriously and is putting in place the right support for victims.”