June 29, 2008

Bullying at Cambridge University

The University of Cambridge does have a written policy against bullying, but this policy is not implemented in practice. There is a widespread problem of bullying at Cambridge University that is hidden from public view. Any attempt to bring this issue into public awareness is met with stone-walling/silence.

A Cambridge PhD student

4 comments:

Stuart said...

So much for the policy - the definition of bullying is not available in the online procedure at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/staff/handbook/12.html, but in "The Yellow Booklet". More scarily, individual college guidelines jump straight from harassment to rape and calling the police (http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/docs/appendix-2.pdf), and hopes most cases can be resolved informally while refusing to provide a precise list of unacceptable behaviour.

Well done to Wolfson College whose policy, by contrast, says "Bullying is a form of psychological harassment; it is intimidation, which serves to undermine the self-esteem, confidence, competence, effectiveness and integrity of the bully's target. Bullying behaviour may include continual, undeserved criticism, belittling remarks, shouting, swearing and offensive language, constant interruption in discussion, and the display of overbearing or intrusive behaviour. Bullying behaviour may also maybe manifested by electronic means of communication such as email. Bullying is behaviour, which may take place between those of different status or those of same status. Bullying when reinforced by power within a relationship is particularly reprehensible. Behaviour which makes the recipient feel threatened, humiliated or patronised and which undermines his or her self-confidence or self-esteem is unacceptable, whatever the context. The defining features of bullying are that the behaviour is unacceptable to the recipient, is unwanted by the recipient, and would be regarded as bullying by reasonable people." (http://www.wolfson.cam.ac.uk/handbook/harassment.html

Anonymous said...

I too have experienced a stone-walling silence in my university...

... and there seems to be a lack of moral courage and integrity in addressing issues such as workplace bullying.

It is particularly shocking when universities that have such formidable reputations seem unable to face issues such as wpb... though the details from one of the colleges seem very helpful... particularly the description of practices that constitute wpb.

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

Bullying within Cambridge is rife I suffered and was at an all time low. The dignity at work policy is a complete farce.........

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more - my life was wrecked by the bullying I experienced as an undergraduate in Cambridge in the 90s.