Making a complaint

What happens after a report is made?

  1. The report will be received by our Welfare officer and two Outreach officers who will be in charge of deciding the next course of action, based on the type of report.
  2. The complainant will be told to whom the complaint is being passed and given their contact details. (Reports submitted anonymously will be considered if there is enough information in the complaint to enable us to make further enquiries. If, however, an anonymous report does not provide enough information to enable us to take further action, we may decide not to pursue it further. However, we will discuss the issues raised in our weekly committee meeting and will record the complaint so that corrective action can be taken as appropriate. Any decision not to pursue an anonymous complaint must be authorised by the president.)
  3. The report will be investigated by one or several of the officers (our Outreach officers will deal specifically with claims about racial issues) who will decide what kind of case it is. If the investigation needs evidence, the complainant may be contacted.

Case 1

May include but not limited to: micro-aggressions such as unintended insensitive language, inherent bias

A talk should be organised by welfare and/or outreach officer with the person(s) highlighted in report, notifying them of the issue and encouraging them to get in contact with our liberation officers to reflect on the issue and educate themselves. If this is a one-off occasion for the person(s) in question, a verbal warning will be given. A second incident will result in a written warning . If there is a third incident, a report will be made to EUSA and executives will be notified to discuss.

Case 2

May include but not limited to: an intended abusive remark, harassment, exclusion because of an individual’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or no gender, socio-economic background, age, appearance, political belief, faith or no faith, mental and physical ability

The issue must be reported to the executives immediately. A discussion with the person(s) in question should follow. There will be a follow-up assessment amongst executives to decide on further action. If necessary, removal of membership for a minimum of two years will be carried out. A written report will be sent to EUSA.

Case 3

If claim is about a larger, more systemic issue, or there seems to be a high number of reports coming in about similar issues. May include but not limited to: several incidents of insensitive behaviour amongst several people, a hostile environment for minority groups at the society

A joint committee and editor meeting will be held to specifically deal with the report at our weekly meeting in the Bunker. We will engage in constructive ways to improve the situation and contact EUSA, the university’s The Advice Place and relevant Liberation Officers to better educate ourselves and improve as a society.

What does our constitution say?

According to Article 2.04 of our constitution ‘Breach of Member Responsibilities’:

  • The committee can impose sanctions for misconduct on members if there is evidence to support that they have breached our code of ethics.
  • When appropriate, we may give verbal warnings; written warnings; removal of membership.
  • EUSA will be notified of this member’s removal with a copy of the report to be kept on file. Anyone removed from The Student may appeal to the society’s committee against such removal.

EUSA contact details

You can also make a complaint to The Advice Place by emailing advice@eusa.ed.ac.uk or phoning 0131 650 9225

Code of Ethics

Be inclusive. We welcome and celebrate people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any or no gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, appearance, political belief, faith or no faith, mental and physical ability.

Be respectful and kind. We aim is to always uphold a culture of belonging, seeing strength in diversity. We want all of our members to feel welcome and able to speak out if they are ever unhappy with anything. We are at our strongest when everyone in the society is happy. Disagreement is never an excuse for disrespectful behaviour. We have zero tolerance for harassment and exclusionary behaviour. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Threats of violence
  • Discriminatory language, such as the use of racist or sexist terms.
  • Sexual harassment and violence
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour.

We strongly encourage all our members to call out discrimination and other forms of unpleasant behaviour if they witness it.

Be considerate. We all depend on each other to produce the best work we can as a society. Your decisions will affect other members and should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Always conduct yourself professionally and be aware of the effects and nuances of the language you use.

Be honest. We believe our members should always be truthful in what they say and do and never deliberately make false or misleading claims.