A new campaign to combate discrimination among staff and students has been launched at Glasgow University.
The campaign, known as Full Stop, is targetting bullying and intimidation of all types, but is particularly highlighting the ways in which “casual” comments – those which are not necessarily designed to be abusive – can still have significant impact and should be classed as harassment.
Full Stop is displaying a number of posters around the campus, which give examples of various kinds of subtle and “casual” homophobia, sexism, racism and disability discrimination. The campaign refers to what it calls “micro fictions” in challenging misconceptions, negative prejudices and stereotypes.
Some examples include: “This school doesn’t organise collections for gay weddings”, “80 people liked what I said on Facebook so they obviously think she is fat and ugly too” and “Are you honestly telling me that she objects to being called ‘Rear of the Year?’ grinned Pete. ‘She should take it as a compliment.'”
The campaign isn’t afraid to address issues surrounding disability. Another poster says: “‘Oh, do we have to?’ Andy grumbled. ‘If we include her, we’ll have all that hassle with her wheelchair and access and stuff…'”
Full Stop was developed with members of Glasgow University’s Students’ Representative Council and has so far has proved popular among staff and students. One student contacted the campaign, saying: “I saw your post about the Full Stop Campaign and I just wanted to say that it warms my heart to see a university care so much about the well being of its students. I feel really confident that I made the right choice about applying to the University of Glasgow. Thank you!”
The University’s principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli, said in a message of support: “Bullying and harassment have absolutely no place in the University of Glasgow and I, my colleagues in senior management group and indeed all heads of schools of institutes of university services, are determined that we are going to tackle any behaviours that happen around bullying and harassment.
“Of course bullying and harassment takes various forms. It can effect staff, it affects students, the campaign is about trying to be aware about things but also treating people with kindness and respect because that’s what its all about.
“So if there is still any behaviours like that around campus then we need to stop them, full stop.”
Thsi is the latest of a number of initiatives run by the university in recent years to combat bullying and discrimination.
A spokesperson for the university added: “Our staff survey last year found that 70% of our staff were unaware of the Dignity at Work and Study policy.
“That same staff survey indicated that just 4% of staff thought there’d been a problem.
“In fact we have been very successful in challenging bullying or harassing behaviour over many years, partly through the development of a volunteer network – the Harassment Volunteer Network – impartial, staff volunteers who will act as independent arbiters, advisers and listeners.”