Community Officer Blog

Update on the #NeverOK campaign

Freshers’ Week saw the launch of the long- awaited Report and Support tool as part of the Union and University #NeverOK campaign. The link can be found on both websites and allows students to report any incidents, either named or anonymously, to a variety of services – The Advice and Support Centre in the SU, Student Services, HR, and other external support providers. This is a long overdue provision for our students and acts as a wonderful move in the right direction.

I began working on this campaign when it launched last year as a Freshers’ Week Event Manager last summer. We began delivering training to our FW captains and have since delivered this to a variety of different student leaders - hall reps, committees, sport teams and other student groups.

Over the summer, working through the SCP** we have expanded the campaign into town. I delivered the bystander training to bar staff at three clubs in town – Moles, Komedia, and Second Bridge, recognizing that these places are frequented by our students and members of the local community where the message still remains: inappropriate behavior is #NeverOK. 

With its initial focus being on sexual violence, the approach of the campaign is multi- tiered. From staff training, awareness posters seen on the Parade, and training delivered to students. The bystander training uses a pro-social bystander approach moving towards a cultural change on campus. Students also learn how to appropriately handle disclosures. We all have the ability and responsibility within the community to call out behavior at its beginning stages i.e rape jokes, inappropriate remarks, etc. before the behaviour escalates.

The campaign has since moved from strength to strength and with the campaign receiving two more bids from HEFCE (now known as OfS), we have the opportunity to expand into addressing race and religious hate crime this year. I will be working with Race Equality, one of our D&S groups other faith groups on campus to continue the development of this campaign.

Our work with this campaign has turned heads and has garnered some attention. BBC Inside Out West came in to film our training and interview me about the campaign and how the sector is responding to this issue. This campaign is a long overdue move from the University in recognizing this as an issue that has long affected students. I am proud of the work that has been done and the collaborative work that we continue to do with the University to improve the experience for all students across campus.

Over the coming year I look forward carry on delivering bystander training to a variety of different student groups. Please contact me at sucommunity@bath.ac.uk if your group would like to get involved.

**SCP -  The Student Community Partnership is a bridge between the University of Bath and its Students’ UnionBath Spa University and its Students’ UnionBath College and Bath and North East Somerset Council. It supports student residents and permanent residents in coming together and living in the community of Bath. The SCP campaigns for neighbourly relations, safety, sustainability and other aspects of community awareness

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