I am incredibly proud to witness the effects of direct and active campaigning on the new draft of the Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, which is open for consultation by all members of the University, including students, until Thursday 28th February. We need responses that provide vital evidence of the student support for the change to the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof, as well as the integration of consistency and clarity into the disciplinary procedure at all levels. Responses can be of any length, and should be emailed to OSCCA@admin.cam.ac.uk (one ‘S,’ two ‘C’s) by midnight on the 28th February 2019.
The Women’s Campaign is particularly happy to see the commitment to a transparent, consistent and easily understood policy and procedure substantiated by material changes to many parts of the procedure. The change to the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof, the creation of a full-time Investigator role, the acknowledgement that the procedure is an internal process rather than a court of law, the inclusion of intimate partner violence under what constitutes abusive behaviour and the requirement of appropriate training for all decision-makers and investigators involved with the process reflect the vision of the student body for a functional and accessible disciplinary procedure. These improvements mean that the disciplinary procedure will no longer disadvantage those who use it to report instances of sexual assault or misconduct. It is the culmination of years of hard work and an incredible opportunity to be part of a campaign that will see real material success.
Addressing the prevalence of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault at Cambridge University and the inaccessibility of the current university disciplinary procedure has been a priority for the Women’s Campaign since 2014. We now have a chance to turn years of work into material change by responding the current consultation in support of a disciplinary procedure that will be able to find meaningful institutional justice for survivors of sexual harassment and assault by providing a fair and comprehensible disciplinary procedure for all. We need your help to ensure that these changes can be implemented for October 2019.
Responses need to highlight the student support for changing to the balance of probabilities. More substantive responses, commending other parts of the procedure we would like to keep, can be submitted on the behalf of groups as well as individuals. The full Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, alongside the cover note which discusses the key areas of change, are available to read on the OSCCA website. Email your response to OSCCA@admin.cam.ac.uk (one ‘S,’ two ‘C’s) by midnight on the 28th February 2019, change your cover photo to remind people to fill in the consultation and like the Women’s Campaign on Facebook to find out more ways you can support women and non-binary people at the university.